Road Closure Extended for Popular Colorado Springs Park, With New Improvements Announced | Colorado Springs News
The road to one of Colorado Springs’ busiest parks will be closed on one of its busiest days of the year.
On Remembrance Day, drivers will be banned from North Cheyenne Canyon Road to North Cheyenne Cañon Park as the weekday closure instituted in early May has been extended during the holidays.
Although vehicles are not allowed, cyclists and explorers on foot can still leave the parking lot at the Starsmore Visitor and Nature Center and climb the road to beloved trails. (Gold Camp Road, often cycle-friendly and adjacent, is another option, after being cleared Friday from the boulder whose access has been limited since it fell in late April.)
Access to North Cheyenne Canyon Road will be restored on weekends during the shutdown, which is expected to last until June 18.
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On May 3, the city announced the road closure on weekdays to allow crews to pave and complete upgrades at the canyon’s most popular parking lot. Work was expected to be completed in time for the reopening of the gravel field before Memorial Day. A recent press release from the city cited the weather forecast for delaying the project.
The parking lot – which will be outfitted with 92 designated spaces, up from the previous 75 non-designated spaces, according to the city’s tally – is now expected to open on Wednesday after striping.
But the main road leading to it will be closed Monday through Friday for another three weeks, “depending on weather conditions and construction,” the press release said, “to allow for the completion of further improvements to the parking lot.”
Under the upper parking lot at Helen Hunt Falls, crews are ready to set up a ramp and add disabled parking spaces. At the same time, improvements are planned at the nearby Bruin Inn picnic area, where a trail connection is planned for the future Daniels Pass trail.
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This trail down the road is also expected to be completed during the closure, with a dozen parking spaces to be formalized at the current starting point. Before a new trail is built later this summer, the parking lot can be used by visitors to other trails nearby.
In the press release, David Deitemeyer, the city’s leading landscape architect, thanked the public for their patience with the road closure.
“While we didn’t initially plan to do all of these improvements at once, the schedule has worked to make it the safest, most efficient, and cost-effective way to make these much-needed improvements,” said he declared. “and your park experience will benefit in the long run.”
The Daniels Pass Trail – described as a priority with Best Parking in North Cheyenne Cañon’s 2018 Master Plan – is expected to add a new adventure to a lesser-known side of the park.
Officials are ready to realign the existing steep downhill track and make the route, better known to mountain bikers, attractive to all visitors. The upper ridge will serve as the starting point for the Sweetwater Canyon trail system envisioned in the trees and meadows below.
The city has contracted with FlowRide Concepts on the project which involves approximately 6.5 miles of new trail. Crews are expected to start construction in July and continue into the fall, Deitemeyer told The Gazette.