New, improved Old Town sign at I-25 for westbound avenue drivers

       A sign identifying “Historic Old Colorado City” is finally on display to everyone's satisfaction on Colorado Avenue at I-25.

ABOVE: The current, upgraded sign mounted on the I-25 overpass and facing westbound traffic on Colorado Avenue.
BELOW: The first sign, which was harder to read and developed surface issues.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Donated by the El Paso County sign shop, the oval-ish wood marker with simple metal ornamentation was installed this spring by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) against the wall below the interstate overpass at the avenue, facing westbound traffic.
       The surface material on a nearly identical previous sign (installed last summer) had bubbled up, with hard-to-read black-on-brown lettering, and “never did look right,” according to Westside County Commissioner Sallie Clark, who coordinated the sign effort.
       The replacement sign has reflective white-on-brown lettering and is “nice and clean and very readable,” she said.
       The sign says “Welcome to Historic Old Colorado City - Capitol City of the Colorado Territory - 1861.”
       The sign saga dates back to CDOT's COSMIX project - finished in 2007 - that widened I-25 to six lanes through central Colorado Springs, including a broader overpass at the avenue. At the request of the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), CDOT had agreed to post a sign, not larger than 25 square feet, to let westbound motorists know that they'd find something historically appealing on the other side of the overpass. CDOT did not charge for the mounting, but declined to pay for the sign, and OWN had no budget for it either.
       That was where Clark stepped in. “I represent this district, and there was obviously a need,” she said. After asking around the county departments, she found that the sign shop (within the Public Works Department) could do the work for just the cost of materials.
       She showed the final design to the OWN board before going ahead with it.
       “It adds to the Westside flavor as you come into Old Colorado City and the Westside,” Clark said. “It's a nice sign without high cost. City taxpayers pay county taxes too, and it's nice that the county can give back sometimes.”

Westside Pioneer article