COLORADO SPRINGS – North Cheyenne Cañon Park will be getting a makeover.
The City of Colorado Springs says three bridges need to be replaced. The bridges have been around since the turn of the last century, and while they need an upgrade, visitors worry it could change the park’s identity.
Kent Obee has been exploring North Cheyenne Cañon Park for decades.
“I was actually born in Colorado Springs three-quarters of a century ago,” he said with a chuckle.
But he knows time has taken its toll on these structures.
“There’s superficial wear and tear. Some of the […] stones have fallen off, ” he described.
“Are they actually unsafe? I couldn’t tell you. You need a structural engineer to do that.”
And senior engineer Aaron Egbert did just that.
He says the city plans to replace three middle bridges because they’re too narrow for two-way traffic and half as strong as they need to be.
“We really need to take care of it now, timing is critical,” he stressed.
The Public Works Department is organizing six focus groups to try and address concerns.
“We want to make sure that we do this bridge replacement correctly,” Egbert said.
“We’re concerned that the canyon is being loved to death and that there is a tendency to cram more and more people into it,” Obee pointed out.
Obee is in one of those groups and says he wants minimal change.
“I don’t want to see this road turned into an I70 going up Glenwood Canyon or something,” he jokingly remarked.
The city really wants to collaborate, as they consider ways to modernize.
“We really want [the bridges] to fit into the park,” Egbert emphasized.
“You know, that’s a jewel that we have as a community and we want to make sure everything fits together.”
Work on the project is set to begin in the fall of 2020.
The focus groups will convene in June.
If you’d like to join, you can reach out to the city via email at NCCBridgeReplacement@gmail.com.
You can also find out more about the project here.