COSMIX all but finished; 2-block link to Midland Trail has to be scrapped

       With the dust clearing from the all-but-completed COSMIX project, it's been revealed that a related trail feature that was part of the original plan had to be left out.
       It would have let pedestrians on Colorado Avenue access the Midland Trail, about two blocks to the south, through a new link that was to be built near Walnut Street.
       However, something had to give in making room for a widened I-25 bridge over the avenue, and that turned out to be the link, according to COSMIX spokesperson Michele Majeune.
       Before the project, there had been a connection between the avenue and the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail passing below it, just east of the interstate. By design, this access was eliminated with the widening.
       As a kind of alternate improvement, project contractor Rockrim-mon Constructors plans to pave the Greenway Trail between Bijou Street and the Midland Trail, Majeune said.
       She also noted that hikers or bikers on the avenue can access the Midland Trail via Cimino Drive through America the Beautiful Park or by walking south on Walnut or Chestnut streets.
       While pleased about the Greenway Trail paving, City Parks was disappointed at the connection loss because such “was clearly stated in the intergovernmental agreement [for COSMIX],” said Jeff Haley, the City Parks trails planner. He said that signage directing pedestrians to the trail will probably be posted on Walnut and/or Chestnut, although he conceded that the lack of sidewalks on both those streets in that area would be a concern.
       A good reason not to insist on the Colorado-to-Midland connection, he said, was that tentative plans for a future new Cimarron interchange show a new flyover off- ramp that would force “a lot of the improvements to be removed, anyway.”
       Overall, the $150 million COSMIX project widened the interstate, including new and rebuilt interchanges, over a 12-mile span during a project that lasted more than two years. The job is finished, other than a “punch-list of finish items for minor work that will be occurring over the next several weeks,” Majeune said.
       The only I-25 work near the Westside that she expects could cause lane closures during this time are a striping operation - which has to occur in the daytime because of paint temperatures - between Bijou and Cimarron and the off-peak-hours replacement of old median barriers between Cimarron and Colorado Avenue.

Westside Pioneer article