Insider’s Perspective: Growth and Development in Southern Colorado
Although much of the focus as of late is on growth and development in the Denver Metro areas, the Southern Colorado area is next to experience significant growth, which will primarily be stimulated by enhancements along the Interstate 25 (I-25) corridor, the return of a hometown’s resident who is rejuvenating Trinidad, and implementation of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs’ (UCCS) master plan for the future.
To provide a glimpse of what those projects entail, we connected with Bill Hoffmann, PE, vice president/senior principal engineer, with CTL|Thompson Inc., for an overview of some of the new developments in southern and southeastern Colorado that will greatly enhance the region’s transportation corridors and communities by 2020.
In addition to the city of Champion, which we have heard quite a bit about, the downtown area development in Colorado Springs also includes a southeast urban renewal district where a group of established “free business thinkers” decided to undertake the repurposing of abandoned buildings just south of the main downtown business district to transform them into urban living spaces. In addition, the Southwest Downtown Renewal District received a major boost in May 2017 with the secured financing for the U.S. Olympic Museum, which is set to be completed by 2020. One of the sideline benefits of the museum appears to be a driver to build hotels downtown, as well as other commercial developments to support the hotels and overall tourism.
Moving more toward the north-central area of Colorado Springs, one cannot overlook the explosive growth of the University of Colorado at Colorado. The UCCS campus has expanded from the original Cragmoor TP Clinic of three buildings on approximately 80 acres along one main road to more than 640 acres. From the new arts facility to a new NCAA sporting complex that is under design, the UCCS campus is truly a community-coordinated effort that will be well toward completion by 2020.
Pueblo includes some important I-25 improvements that are currently in progress or have recently been completed. Retail growth within the city is occurring at its north end, just a few miles north of the US Highway 50 interchange. The city funded an interchange at Dillon Ave., which serves the development and access to Pueblo West that was completed earlier this year. Plans for expansion of the interchange as the city grows to the east are currently in the early planning stages. In addition, construction to replace most of the elevated sections with “at-grade” pavement started in July 2015, and it anticipated to be completed in 2018.
Trinidad is experiencing a resurgence and historical preservation of the historic downtown area lead mostly by Jay Cimino, a local entrepreneur. A bank has recently expanded, another church is being renovated, and entire blocks of buildings are being repurposed. In addition, notable preservationists like Diana Crawford and other LoDo caretakers are investing in the endeavors in Trinidad. One of the projects involves the redevelopment of the area around Trinidad’s railroad yard and former terminal, which will transform the area into a regional multimodal transportation site, including an AMTRACK station. The intention is to revitalize Trinidad into a destination area and a recognized recreational resource – and it’s going to create exciting new opportunities for the city and its future.
We will continue to track the growth developments in surrounding areas and highlight future opportunities in engineering through further installments of our monthly blog series.
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