News

State, Manitou Springs and El Paso County Collaborate on US 24 Ute Pass Reconstruction Projects

April 1, 2016 - Southeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 2 - More than six rehabilitation projects underway this Summer (Phase 1).

Manitou Springs – To minimize impacts to the traveling public and the surrounding communities the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), City of Manitou Springs and El Paso County are working together to fully communicate important information about more than six upcoming reconstruction projects along and near the US 24 Ute Pass corridor, including the work being done, location of the work, and construction duration. Phase 1 focuses on the projects that could impact the traveling public this summer.

The projects are a combination of much needed rehabilitation and improvements, some of which are specifically geared toward improving safety as a result of flooding, some are enhancements to public access and others are for restoration.

“We need to complete the $1.9 million Rainbow Falls Bridge project first before we can begin paving Manitou Ave. at the east end of town this fall,” said Dave Watt, CDOT Resident Engineer.  “The sooner we can get started rehabbing the bridge, the sooner we’ll have the business route at the west end reopened to traffic this summer.”

All three jurisdictions with projects in the area are encouraged by the positive benefits these projects will bring to the communities surrounding the US 24/Ute Pass corridor once completed, while recognizing the impacts construction will have on the traveling public and to the businesses in the area. “The City of Manitou Springs is working collaboratively with CDOT and El Paso County, as well as with the Manitou Chamber of Commerce and tourist industry to get the information out and let the public and tourists know the best way to access the businesses along the corridor,” said City Administrator Jason Wells, City of Manitou Springs.

“Rather than piecemeal the information/impacts out independently, we’re working together to communicate holistically to our constituents, the public, and to the tourism organizations with one combined message what and where the impacts are, the start/completion dates, how to avoid the construction areas, and what the alternate accesses are into Manitou Springs,” said Wells.

“To prepare for the summer tourism season and minimize impacts to both our residents and visitors, El Paso County, Manitou Springs and CDOT are working together on construction schedules,” said these projects are critical to the safety of our citizens and are a component of post Waldo Canyon fire recovery efforts.  We thank all of the partners in this collaborative effort.”

Phase 1 projects (March – Summer 2016)

City of Manitou Springs project:

  • Slope Stabilization Sunshine Trail south of U.S. 24 – (Starts this summer; completion, October 2016)
    • For more information about this City of Manitou Springs project, call 719-685-2594.

El Paso County projects:

  • FEMA rehabilitation project trail repairs (March - May, 2016)
  • Transportation Enhancement Grant parking lot, trail and other facility enhancements – (Starts this summer; completion, TBD)
  • Hazard Mitigation Project (Open space creation from Voluntary Acquisition/Demolition of 3 properties), FEMA/Community Development Block Grant, Disaster Recovery  (2nd Quarter, 2016)
    • For more information about the El Paso County projects call, 719-520-6540.

The CDOT projects:

  • Site A Resurfacing of US 24 east to Serpentine Dr. (Phase 2) (Starts late summer; completion,  2016 year end)
  • Site B Resurfacing Project (Phase 2) (Manitou Avenue, City Hall to westbound US 24 ramps; Garden of the Gods Place, El Paso Blvd. to eastbound US 24 ramps; Intersection of Manitou Avenue and Garden of the Gods Place; and Bridge deck rehabilitation over Fountain Creek) (Starts late summer; completion, 2016 year end)
  • Rainbow Falls Bridge Rehabilitation Project (Now through Summer 2016)
  • In addition, the I-25/Cimarron Interchange is under reconstruction (Now through December 2017)
    • For more information about the CDOT projects, call 719-488-5908.

The Rainbow Falls Recreation Area just west of Manitou Springs is closed until further notice for extensive rehabilitation work on the Rainbow Falls Bridge underway by CDOT and Wildcat Construction Co., Inc. of Colorado Springs. To accomplish the work, a segment of the US 24 Business Route (Manitou Ave.) connecting Manitou Ave. to US 24 is closed (between the off-ramp from US 24 to the roundabout at Serpentine Dr.). It is expected to remain closed through June 2016.  Drivers wanting to access Manitou Springs from US 24 will need to use Serpentine Dr., Washington Ave., or the Manitou Ave. interchange. Large trucks and tour busses are encouraged to use the eastern most entrance to Manitou Springs at the Manitou Ave. interchange.

Watch for an announcement of the Phase 2 Fall 2016 projects coming later this summer.

Traffic information about this or other CDOT projects is on the cotrip.org website, by calling 511 or via subscription e-mail or text.  To subscribe, please visit www.codot.gov and click on the small envelope icon at the bottom of the page. The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including Southeast Colorado.

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