Red Rock Canyon OS gets longer turn lane, courtesy of Manitou development

       A recently installed, much longer left turn lane at Ridge Road/High Street on westbound Highway 24 will no doubt be helpful in handling the potentially hundreds of vehicles a day that will flow into Colorado Springs Parks' new Red Rock Canyon Open Space.
       Lucky for City Parks that someone else paid for it.
       That “someone” is the Crystal Hills East Limited Liability Company (LLC), which is building 18 lots for residential homes on 18 acres off Red Canon Place inside Manitou Springs city limits next to Red Rock Canyon Open Space. The main access to the development - just like the open space - is at Ridge Road/High Street off Highway 24.
       According to Kathryn Lucas, a managing partner in the subdivision (which is being marketed as Red Rock Canyon Estates) extending the turn lane was a requirement for project approval by Manitou Springs.
       The cost was between $40,000 and $45,000, said Lucas, who, like her two partners, is a Manitou Springs resident. A private construction company did the work in accordance with Colorado Department of Transportation standards.
       The lane, which had been 150 feet long, is now 550 feet, according to Neal McLead of Realty Development Services, which has been involved in the Red Rock Canyon Estates project. “That's a pretty good size,” he said.
       He added that the agreement with Manitou on the turn lane had been reached last year, before the Red Rock Canyon Open Space purchase. Otherwise, he said, Colorado Springs would probably have been expected to contribute to the turn-lane lengthening cost.
       As it was, in a happy coincidence for the city, the lane work was completed in early October, and the open space became available to the public Oct. 29.
       Lot-development work is underway at Red Rock Canyon Estates, and should be done before deep winter sets in, Lucas said.

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