COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - On Tuesday, the Colorado Springs city council approved the appropriation of $13.5 million dollars to move forward on the construction of a new summit house on Pikes Peak.
With that approval, city officials are working with Pikes Peak-America's Mountain on the logistics of transportation to the top.
While construction is going on, private vehicles will be restricted from driving to the top of the summit, and instead, a free shuttle will be in place to carry people to the summit instead.
Construction will begin as early as May or June of this year after funds were approved Tuesday.
The manager of Pikes Peak-America's Mountain, Jack Galvan, says parking at the summit will be cut in half while construction is happening. So by restricting traffic and putting the shuttle system in place, it will help to alleviate the congestion and parking problems at the top.
The shuttle will be paid for by funds from Pikes Peak-America's Mountain. Visitors will only have to pay for the regular admittance fee into the park.
Exceptions will be made for some vehicles carrying people with special needs or children in car seats.
The shuttle will only be mandated if construction is approved for the summit house.
There will be two pick-up points for the shuttle, at the Devil's Playground parking lot, as well as the parking not near the launch point of the International Hill Climb.
Galvan emphasized that the mandatory shuttle will only be used while construction is taking place. Depending on the shuttle's success, Pikes Peak-America's Mountain might consider employing an optional shuttle in the future.
The construction project is expected to take at least two years to complete.
Last year saw the greatest number of visitors on the mountain, with nearly 500,000 people taking the road up.
Another 300,000 people used the Cog Railway to go to the summit, which is now closed indefinitely, while assessments are made into the railway's infrastructure and equipment.Due to that factor, and the limited parking during construction, Pikes Peak officials say a shuttle will make sure people make it to the summit safely.