Manitou Avenue's 2-laning to be extended eastward in fall CDOT projectNew pavement, improved drainage and more gently sloped pedestrian ramps comprise the main impetus of the roadwork starting in late September near Manitou Springs' Highway 24 interchange.
Another visible result of the $2.4 million Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) project will be an extension of the Manitou Avenue two-laning alignment
Replacing the existing four-lane style, the restriping will “tie into” the separate Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) project, which is due to start this winter along Manitou/Colorado Avenue, according to Monica Ramey, a spokesperson for both projects.
The WAAP plan also calls for two-laning Manitou/Colorado Avenue the same way from the 300-foot point east to about 33rd Street. That segment currently has four lanes (two each way, without turn lanes).
Currently there is no project to two-lane the avenue east of 33rd; however, under the leadership of Old Colorado City property owners and merchants, a concept plan has been drawn up for two lanes (with bike lanes but no center lane) between 24th and 27th streets. They hope to complete the public process for it by 2017.
In the CDOT/Manitou project, CDOT agreed to extend the two-laning after a request from Manitou Springs city officials last year. Because such was already planned for the WAAP segment, Manitou Mayor Marc Snyder “asked that we do this layout on our overlay project so that there was a consistent striping layout from downtown Manitou Springs,” explained CDOT project engineer Randy Johnson.
CDOT has maintenance responsibility for the avenue west of the 300-foot point. El Paso County took over the WAAP segment from CDOT - for cash considerations and in conjunction with that project - over a year ago.
Manitou's original avenue two-lane plan (between Mayfair and Minnehaha Avenue) took effect in 2004, with the stated goal of slowing traffic to help businesses and improve safety.
Two-laning the WAAP segment was proposed in 2012 by officials for the three governments funding the project (Manitou, Colorado Springs and El Paso County), along with their consulting engineers. Similar reasons were given, with plans showing the saved road width being allotted to bicycle lanes and sidewalks. Public meetings between 2012 and 2014 aroused no major citizen opposition to the two-lane plan; however, the bicycle element was never specifically brought up.
Those who have spoken out against the lane reduction have warned that traffic will move too slowly and the alignment may prove hazardous in an emergency.
Estimated to cost about $20 million to plan and build, WAAP also includes a bridge replacement, major utility work, creek upgrades and reworking of the Columbia and Ridge intersections.
The project scope is between Deer Path Avenue and the aforementioned 300-foot point east of the interchange. As part of the work, Garden of the Gods Place between El Paso Boulevard and Manitou Avenue will close through Oct. 28, according to information on the CDOT project website. Intermittent avenue lane closures can also be expected.
“Repairs will be made to the concrete deck of the bridge structure located on Garden of the Gods Place,” the CDOT website states. “Drainage improvements will be installed at the intersection of Manitou Avenue and Garden of the Gods Place.”
The paving work will involve a two-inch mill (deeper in some places, as needed, Johnson said) and two inches of new asphalt.
The concrete work will focus on curb-and-gutter and 30 new pedestrian ramps, built to meet modern specifications that require a gentler slope for wheelchairs. No new sidewalk is being built. “We're just replacing what we have to take out,” Johnson said.
The contractor is Kiewit Infrastructure Co., which also has the bid for the ongoing rebuild of Centennial Boulevard between Fillmore Street and Garden of the Gods Road in Colorado Springs. Kiewit's $2.4 million CDOT/Manitou contract also includes a simultaneous project at the west end of Manitou, affecting Serpentine Drive. The website is
Westside Pioneer article