7 years later, Midland Trail being extended through Westside

       A segment of the Midland Trail west of 31st Street is under construction.

East of Ridge Road and on the south side of Fountain Creek, heavy equipment was cutting in the route for the new Midland Trail segment last week. It will eventually have a 12-foot-wide concrete path.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The contract between City Parks and local construction company Even Preisser calls for a 12-foot-wide concrete trail with dirt shoulders from 31st to Ridge Road and from Columbia Street through the Garden of the Gods Campground to connect with Manitou Springs' Creekwalk Trail.
       The 31st-to-Ridge portion will include a 70-foot pedestrian bridge across Fountain Creek near Ridge Road, according to Sarah Bryarly of City Parks.
       The scheduled completion date, weather dependent, is mid-March.
       The project brings closer the goal of having a public multi-use trail along or near Fountain Creek from the downtown through the Westside to Manitou Springs.
       A segment from downtown to 21st Street (ending near Cucharras Street) was built in 2004 as Phase 1. This is the first work since then, other than a segment behind the Manitou baseball field last fall that was contracted by City Parks.
       Midland Trail funding is coming from three main sources - federal and state grants and the local Trails, Open Space and Parks (TOPS) program that's funded by the open-space sales tax.
       The current work is technically Phase 3. Phase 2 will take the trail from 21st to 31st Street, with the part from 21st to 25th using city streets.
       Phase 3 went ahead of Phase 2 because the latter still has a right of way issue on a “very short section” near 31st Street, Bryarly said. But she expects that to be resolved in time for Phase 2 to be finished by October.
       Omitted from the Phase 3 project scope is a once-envisioned trail segment on the north side of Colorado Avenue between Ridge and Columbia. Currently there are no crosswalks, sidewalks, curbs or gutters along that stretch, which is part of a multi-jurisdictional, publicly neglected area sometimes known as No Man's Land. “It's a bigger picture than just the trail,” Bryarly said. “We're working with City Engineering and Traffic Engineering on a longer-term solution. There are improvements that have to be made up and down Colorado.”
       It is not known how soon such solutions might occur, however. Two infrastructure grant requests for that area (one to the state, the other to the federal government) by Colorado Springs and other local governments have been denied in the past three years.
       In the meantime, the north side of Colorado Avenue is at least wide enough between Ridge and Columbia that people following the trail route will have some walking space, Bryarly said.

Westside Pioneer article