Westside Briefs:
Pedestrian bridge to link trails at 31st

       A contractor was hired in late June for a city project to install a pedestrian/bicycle bridge over Fountain Creek just west of 31st Street.
       DRX Construction was awarded the bid for $155,000, according to Mike Chaves of City Engineering.
       Work could start in July, depending in part on how speedily a supplier can fulfill the contractor's bridge order, he explained. Completion is expected within four months.
       The bridge, along with a short segment of paved trail on either side, will allow the Foothills Trail to connect to the Midland Trail on the south side of the creek.
       Going south as a sidewalk along 31st Street through Pleasant Valley, the Foothills Trail currently dead-ends next to KFC, on the north side of the creek.
       The 31st Street road bridge over the creek has no sidewalks (or bicycle lanes).
       According to Tim Roberts of Traffic Engineering, the work will aid safety by simplifying the access between two major city trails.
       Nature Center fundraiser
       The Happy Trails Barbecue, an annual benefit for the Bear Creek Nature Center, will be Friday, Aug. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m.
       The event will be at the center, 245 Bear Creek Road.
       Included will be live music and a catered barbecue. Admission is $40 a person ($70 for a couple).
       The center is owned by El Paso County Parks, which has seen its budget slashed in recent years.
       Because of limited space, advance reservations are suggested. For more information, call the Nature Center at 520-6387.
       A summer 'Space-cation'
       The “Summer of Discovery” is back at the Space Foundation.
       Space-oriented activities under the overall heading of “Take a Space-cation!” have been scheduled this summer, one after another, from early June through mid-August at the nonprofit foundation's Discovery Center, 4425 Arrowswest Drive (off Garden of the Gods Road).
       Admission is $10 for adults, with discounts for students, seniors and military. The center is open Monday through Saturday in the summer.
       “Next Stop Mars” is the Space-cation theme through July 11, followed by “Exploring our Universe” (July 13-25) and “Journey to the Future” (July 27-Aug. 14). For each theme, special interactive crafts or exhibits are offered that relate to it.
       On a regular basis, the center offers ongoing activities and exhibits. Recently added, along with the existing Northrop Grumman Science Center and El Pomar Space Gallery, are the traveling “Great Balls of Fire” exhibit on meteors, comets and asteroids and the permanent Lockheed Martin Space Systems Education Center.
       For more information, call 576-8000 or go to spacefoundation.org.
       Sec. 16 trailhead upgrade
       An upgrade project has temporarily closed the Section 16 Trailhead.
       Including concrete curb and gutter as well as parking-area asphalt and striping, the work will prevent trail access at least until early August, plans show.
       The trailhead is off Gold Camp Road, about a quarter mile up from where Gold Camp starts at the intersection of 26th Street, Lower Gold Camp Road, Wheeler Avenue and Bear Creek Road
       There will also be a new trailhead sign, according to Chris Lieber, development manager for City Parks. The old sign, originally placed by El Paso County when it was leasing the property, was taken down several months ago.
       Funding for the trailhead project comes from a 2013 Colorado State Trails grant, the press release states, with a match from the city sales-tax-supported TOPS (Trails, Open Space and Parks) fund.
       Waterslide 21st Street
       A 1,000-foot-long water slide will be laid out for riders along the downhill section of 21st Street/Cresta Road (south of Argus Boulevard) Aug. 15, according to plans announced by the national Slide the City organization, in conjunction with the local UpaDowna nonprofit group.
       Riders need to use an inflatable tube (bring their own or buy one at the event).
       The cost is $31 to $45, depending on how far in advance a person signs up, according to website information.
       Registration is possible at slidethecity.com.

Westside Pioneer/press releases