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Ridge Road ‘plaza’ next focus for WAAP project

       Anyone driving up Colorado Avenue to Manitou Springs this summer had best not be in a hurry.

Flaggers holding up "stop" signs have become a familiar sight for motorists on West Colorado/Manitou Avenue this year as the Westside Avenue Action Plan project moves forward. This shot was taken by Beckers Lane.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The $30.9 million Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) project is under way and, as advertised, it's featuring a lot of digging - chiefly to replace water and/or stormwater lines.
       Most of that initial effort has been along the avenue west of Columbia Road, but in June Ridge Road will become a new focus. According to Dennis Barron, the project manager for El Paso County, a prominent aspect will be installing large (30-inch diameter) water lines going up Ridge and other “significant underground utilities work.”
       Crews will also be replacing the old retaining wall that shores up Pikes Peak Avenue for a few hundred feet east of Ridge. The new wall will be “more vertical,” Barron said, helping create space for the planned pedestrian/bike “plaza” in the area where Ridge used to connect between Colorado and Pikes Peak avenues.
       Property-acquisition efforts are continuing simultaneously, as planned. Nearly all are temporary easements or partial purchases. One of the two full-property acquisitions is the former Sunflower Motel near Columbia Road. A crew demolished the buildings there in early May; the space will be used for the new Midland Trail link.
       WAAP is funded mainly through the tax-supported Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority. The scope is west from 31st Street almost to Manitou's Highway 24 interchange.
       Work started in December. The multi-government project is scheduled to last through the end of 2018. Highlights include a new avenue bridge over Fountain Creek at Columbia Road, underground utilities, sidewalks and intersections with stoplights at Columbia and Ridge Road.
       Project information is at WestsideAvenuePlan.com.

Westside Pioneer article