New ‘Signature Street” in Southwest downtown opens to public

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. --Colorado Springs’ second Signature Street after Tejon Street is now open to the public. Vermijo Street, between Cascade Avenue and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum, and Sierra Madre between Cimarron and Colorado avenues are open for foot, vehicle and bicycle traffic. Vermijo Street, east of Cascade to the Tejon Street intersection remains closed through spring 2021 (weather and resource dependent) for continued construction on the final block of this signature street.

Heading from east to west, Vermijo Street gradually builds in momentum and complexity of design, ultimately culminating into a rich gathering place at the foot of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum. Olympic Museum Plaza will serve as a gathering place and may accommodate public events.

“By combining pedestrian prioritized improvements, low-impact development, smart technologies, effective stormwater management and an overall design that will draw people to the area, this will bring together elements that will make the an attractive place for people to gather and enjoy a unique urban area in our downtown,” said Ryan Phipps, project manager and for the City of Colorado Springs.

Extensive research into best practices of other major cities across the country went into developing the overall design features by embracing a timeless design that is flexible enough to make this street sustainable for the next 50 or 100 years. While providing a classic aesthetic, it will also be equipped to host temporary features and displays that can easily be updated or refreshed. In addition, the street will be ready for evolving smart technologies, from smart street lights to smart parking, kiosks and sensor-driven irrigation.

Sierra Madre Street also transformed into a tree-lined streetscape that leads to the museum from the north.

Vermijo, the City’s second downtown signature street after Tejon, has been envisioned in the 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. It is one of two key public infrastructure projects central to redeveloping southwest downtown. The second infrastructure project, a pedestrian bridge that will connect pedestrians from America the Beautiful Park to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum and southwest downtown, reached a significant milestone when it was placed onto its abutments Oct. 5. Bridge work continues with installation of an elevator, landing and stairwell and is scheduled to open to the public in early 2021, resource and weather dependent. Fact sheets on southwest downtown redevelopment and the pedestrian bridge are available at ColoradoSprings.gov/swdowntown.

Pedestrian bridge, Vermijo Streetscape project timeline and construction milestones

  • Summer 2019- Roadway, utility, water quality and drainage work on Vermijo Street began
  • Fall 2019 –Vermijo streetscape construction began
  • Winter 2019 – Pedestrian bridge construction began
  • June 2020 – Bridge steel arrives and on-site assembly began

The pedestrian bridge was constructed in segments and shipped to Colorado Springs where to be assembled as a complete bridge on the ground before placing on its abutments

  • Oct. 5, 2020 – Pedestrian bridge was placed on abutments
  • Late Summer 2020- Vermijo Streetscape complete
  • Early 2021 – Pedestrian bridge opens to the public

*Timing is subject to change and is weather and resource dependent.

Multiple Sources to Fund Projects

Funding for the pedestrian bridge and streetscape projects comes from multiple sources. These include the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, Regional Tourism Act funding (RTA) granted by the successful City for Champions application, Colorado Springs Utilities and the Southwest Downtown Business Improvement District. 

Visit www.ColoradoSprings.gov/SWDowntown for more information about projects, costs and funding in support of redevelopment of southwest downtown Colorado Springs.

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