COLORADO SPRINGS, CO -- The City of Colorado Springs today presented the Signature Street plan for the redevelopment of Vermijo St. The total redevelopment features a wide, pedestrian and business-friendly format that will render the street appropriate for both pedestrians and automobiles while offering the opportunity to host festivals and plaza-type events. The large-scale plan also includes completion of a modern pedestrian bridge that will finally connect America the Beautiful Park with downtown Colorado Springs, a goal that 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.
"Vermijo was identified as a future 'signature street' for our city years ago, and it's exciting to actually have the renderings that can help us visualize just how transformative this project will be for southwest downtown," said Project Engineer Ryan Phipps. "By combining low impact development, smart technologies, effective stormwater management and an overall design that will draw people to the area, this is truly the type of project we're seeing in best-in-class cities nationwide."
Tejon is the city's only signature street at present.
Phipps further stated that design and engineering for this project was impacted by extensive research into best practices in other major cities across the country. "What we ultimately chose to do with Vermijo was to embrace a timeless design that is flexible enough to make this street sustainable for the next 50 or 100 years. While providing a very classic aesthetic, it will also be equipped to host temporary features and displays that can easily be updated or refreshed. In addition, we will set it up to be ready for evolving smart technologies, from smart street lights to smart parking, kiosks and sensor-driven irrigation."
In addition, the streetscape will use an innovative underground stormwater filtering system which will collect and cleanse runoff by using the natural materials created by the trees lining the two-lane road. Once cleaned by this natural and sustainable system, the water will collect in an underground basin before flowing to Fountain Creek.
Other features of the plan include ADA and bike-friendly accommodations on the pedestrian bridge connecting downtown to America the Beautiful Park, a curb-less design making the street appropriate for festivals and events while remaining accessible, pre-run power for on-street activation and thoughtful planting using the small-leaved and disease resistant Honey Locust tree.
Funding for the project will come from multiple sources to include PPRTA, Regional Tourism Act funding (RTA) granted by the successful City for Champions application, Colorado Springs Utilities and the business improvement district, which was established in 2017.
The funding breakdown is anticipated as follows:
- $17M from the Business Improvement District (BID)
- $9.2M in State RTA funding
- $7.9M in PPRTA funding
- $3M from Colorado Springs Utilities
- $1.3M for the stormwater infrastructure as a pre-identified IGA project
-$1.3M from the parking enterprise
The project is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.