EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - El Paso County says it has the plan and the money to fix damage at Rainbow Falls, which was caused by flooding last year.
The popular hiking and picnic spot is located just west of Manitou Springs and is owned by El Paso County Parks.
The project will cost $385,000 to complete. 80 percent of the funding is coming from a Federal Transportation Enhancement Grant. Restricted regional park fees will provide the county's match and the City of Manitou Springs is contributing $5,000.
The Colorado Department of Transportation's involvement in the project has included bank stabilization and building a service road to Rainbow Falls that will serve as a regional trail. "They have literally created the foundation for the work to come under the Transportation Enhancement Grant," said El Paso County Community Services Department Planning Manager Elaine Kleckner.
"The Rainbow Falls project is about restoration, but it is also about mitigating the ongoing threat of flooding off the Waldo Canyon Fire burn scar," said Commissioner Sallie Clark. "CDOT and Manitou Springs are important partners, as are those who worked to improve the site before the fire and floods. Improvements will be ongoing for many years in this area," she said, but this is an important milestone."
Rainbow Falls Recreation Area is open for summer use and will close in the fall when CDOT bridge repairs and county construction of trail and parking improvements begins.