Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The El Paso County Board of Commissioners (BoCC) approved an important Intergovernmental Agreement between El Paso County and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to begin development of an improvement plan for Colorado Avenue as it passes from the Westside of Colorado Springs through unincorporated El Paso County and continues into Manitou Springs. 
Highway Advisory Commission
members receive a briefing by
Commissioner Sallie Clark on
the Westside project.
Commissioners Clark and Lathen
discuss transportation issues onsite
near the "No Man's Land" area.
This section of Colorado Avenue has been given the nickname “No Man’s Land,” because offers jurisdictional challenges and location between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs with a portion in unincorporated El Paso County. Known as Business Route 24, the roadway itself is maintained by the Colorado Department of Transportation and a variety of safety improvements are badly needed within the CDOT right-of-way to accommodate vehicle and pedestrian traffic, to correct long-standing problems with drainage and bridge improvements, as well as to address utility challenges.Safety and infrastructure concerns have existed for many years, but it wasn’t until last year the County and City staff members, working together with Commissioner Sallie Clark and the various partner agencies, were able to secure $300,000 in funds through a CDOT grant to begin the planning and assessment process.

Preliminary studies conducted by City of Colorado Springs and El Paso County transportation engineers indicate that a lot of work will be needed to make the area safe and convenient. The bridge over Fountain Creek at Columbia Road is too narrow and badly deteriorated. City and County Engineer staffs have also identified needs ranging from inadequate drainage systems and street lighting to improved pedestrian and vehicular safety.

Neighborhood and business leaders,
Commissioners and Councilwoman Lisa
Czelatdko show the IGA with the
Colorado Department of Transportation
The County will take the lead in contracting the planning services but the project will be co-managed by representatives from Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs and CDOT. The first phase will be to gather input from citizens; residents, business owners, motorists, cyclists and pedestrians are all stakeholders in the Colorado Avenue corridor. “Throughout the years, the cooperation of former and current elected officials—Colorado Springs City Council members Heimlicher, Small and Czelatdko and Manitou Springs mayors Morrison, Drummond and Snyder—were critical participants in moving this project forward today.” Clark said. “This is an important gateway from Old Colorado City to Manitou Springs. We envision the future connection as a vibrant area of commerce and economic development, joining these two historic destinations together while improving the basic infrastructure needs of the area.”