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A flash illuminates the inside of Tunnel 2 (looking downhill) in a photo from 2004.
Westside Pioneer file photo

Where are city tunnel fixes? Upper part of Gold Camp Road, except 'Lower'

       In the mountains, well above where Lower Gold Camp Road ends and Gold Camp Road begins, the city started working on a safety project June 12.
       City crews knew what the problem was - loose boulders with the "potential to endanger motorists or other users," as a press release states. And they knew where it was - at the road's first two tunnels.
       However, Westsiders may have been confused because city press releases announced that the tunnel work was on Lower Gold Camp Road. This puzzlement would have resulted because Lower Gold Camp has no tunnels. It is a paved road that runs across the top of the hill between 8th and 26th streets, past the Norris-Penrose Event Center, housing developments and retirement facilities.
       After 26th Street, the road continues, as city maps show, but loses the "Lower" part of its name, winding uphill as just "Gold Camp Road." Along the way, it turns to gravel and a single lane. After about five miles Gold Camp reaches Tunnel 1 and after another mile Tunnel 2.
       Alex Pellegrino of City Engineering said the decision was made to call the tunnel work area “Lower Gold Camp Road” because he saw a sign there that identifies it that way. In any case, since press releases have already gone out saying “Lower Gold Camp,” that's what it will continue to be called throughout the project, he elaborated.
       Pellegrino chose not to consider the suggestion of “Upper Lower Gold Camp Road” as a compromise name.
       The road at Tunnels 1 and 2 is the city's responsibility because it is in the city's North Cheyenne Canon Park. Gold Camp continues to High Drive before it ends.
       According to historical records, the route dates back to 1900, when the Short Line was built - including construction of the tunnels - as a railroad connection between Colorado Springs and Cripple Creek. In the 1920s, it became an automobile road, eventually given the Gold Camp name. The road no longer goes through because Tunnel 3 (about a mile past High Drive) collapsed in 1988 and was never rebuilt.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 6/15/15; Transportation: Major Roads)

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