Vermijo Avenue to be converted into wide, pedestrian and business friendly thoroughfare

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A newly reimagined Vermijo Avenue in southwest downtown will soon become a key gathering place for an area expected to transform into a major urban destination over the next 20 years. The street will be converted into a wide, pedestrian and business friendly thoroughfare between downtown and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum. From the west, an iconic bridge will connect pedestrians from America the Beautiful Park into downtown, a goal that has been envisioned in our downtown master planA plan for the development of a portion of the city that contains proposed land uses, a generalized transportation system, and the relationship of the area included in the plan to surrounding property. for decades.

 

With construction of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum and Hall of Fame and planned private investment including an outdoor stadium, this area is undergoing a renaissance expected to bring a $2 billion transformation of the area over the next two decades as investors plan to add residences, offices, stores, restaurants, and hotels. 

The museum is at the heart of a 100 acre Urban Renewal Area  stretching from I-25 on the west to Cascade Avenue on the east. The southern boundary is Cimarron Street and the northern boundary is Colorado Avenue. 

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A New Signature Street

Heading from east to west, the streetscape for each block of Vermijo will build momentum and complexity in design culminating into a rich gathering place at the foot of the museum. The new street design, which will become the downtown’s second Signature Street after Tejon Street, will accommodate both pedestrians and vehicles while offering the opportunity to host festivals and plaza-type events.

Sierra Madre Street, which connects with Vermijo at the foot of the museum, will also transform into a tree-lined streetscape that leads to the museum from the north.

A combination of pedestrian improvements, low impact development, smart technologies and effective stormwater management provide an overall design that brings together elements to create a unique urban area in our downtown.

With a very classic aesthetic, the street embraces a timeless design that is flexible enough to make the street sustainable for future generations.

The Pedestrian Bridge

Design elements of the iconic 250-foot pedestrian bridge include an elevator, staircase with bicycle wells and an overlook at the west end of the bridge with views of Pikes Peak —America’s Mountain.

Roadway, utility, water quality, and drainage work has already started. Construction on the streetscape and pedestrian bridge are underway. The steel for the bridge and on-site assembly will start this winter. Once the bridge is assembled on the ground, it will be hoisted into position. The streetscape and pedestrian bridge is expected to be completed in summer of 2020.

Funding

Funding for revitalization efforts come from a combination of public and private investment. The Southwest Downtown Business Improvement District, which was established in 2017 and is funded through a self-imposed property mill levy within the district, will fund infrastructure improvements above and beyond the standard infrastructure such as granite walkways, smart street lighting and landscaping to create a unique look and feel. For more information, visit the project webpage.
 

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