COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A record 5.8 million people visited Garden of the Gods in 2017, which means, a record 5.8 million saw 30th Street, which flanks the iconic park.
Most would agree: 30th isn’t the bastion of beauty; waves, crumbling edges, potholes define this three-mile stretch between Fontanero and Garden of the Gods Road.
And, it leads to the number one visited attraction in Colorado Springs. Not exactly the lasting impression we want to leave with visitors.
So, why can’t we fix that?
“It’s been on our radar for quite a while,” said Tim Roberts, Colorado Springs Principal Transportation Planner. “We know it’s a substandard street.”
City planners have lobbied to get money to fix the ailing road, going on seven years now. In that time, there’s been a number of hurdles: the taxpayer-approved 2C funds could only be used to take out and replace pavement. It was also “B-listed” for PPRTA projects. The city also applied for a federal grant that was rejected.
But then, the Waldo Canyon Fire happened. The road was one of a handful of evacuation arterials -- and not wide enough to handle the amount of traffic, nor the emergency vehicles that also used the route.
That, in effect, secured $7.1 million Federal funds for the road. $1.5 million in City Capitol Improvement funds can also be put to the project.
“Now we’re going to be able to properly engineer it, get the drainage addressed, stabilize the hill, and get the surface in shape,” said Roberts.
The “wish list” for 30th Street? Widening shoulders, bike paths, safe entrance/exit zone to Garden of the Gods, and aesthetically pleasing space.
See details here:
After public input tentatively scheduled for March/April, design on 30th Street should be finished by 2019, with construction starting in 2020, which is as soon as the designated federal funds can be used.
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