|Now that the Westcliffe Main Street and Rosita Avenue improvements are poised to get underway, a last public meeting regarding the Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) project will be held next Tuesday, April 25. Coffee and cookies will be provided at the Town Meeting, convening at 6 p.m. in the Cliff Lanes Community Room, at the west end of Main Street.
The TAP project has been delayed for a year while largely bureaucratic demands have been sorted out by the town and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). For a time it even seemed that the public grant supporting the project might be jeopardized, simply because the street upgrade plans could not be fulfilled within the grant deadlines for implementation. The last details of contractual agreements were settled in late March, however, with ceding of easement rights to the alley drainage gully on the west side of the school property finally in place.
Since that time, the project—with a great sigh of relief from town zoning officer Mike Carter, who shepherded the nightmare of paperwork herds—has proceeded apace. Some trees along Rosita Avenue needed to be removed to make way for curbing and sidewalk improvements, and although controversial, the removal seems to have met with a community consensus of acceptance.
The $1,037,155 project, 80 percent of which is federally funded, upgrades Rosita from Second Street to Sixth; Main will be freshly paved from Lowe’s west to Third. Curb and gutters will be repaired, and period lighting added to the 300 and 400 blocks.
Beginning April 6, construction bids were advertised in the area, and a pre-bid walk through of the project perimeters will be conducted also on April 25, prior to the Town Meeting. Bids will be opened on Wednesday, May 3 at 11 a.m. at the Town Hall, and assuming a positive vetting from CDOT, the lowest bidder will get the work underway by early June. The work will be closely monitored for a 120 working day completion time. The construction includes upgrades not only on curbs and sidewalks, but parking alignments, drainage, and handicap corner crossing accessibility.
The town has assured local businesses of as little disruption as possible during the high season of tourist trade, which unfortunately coincides with the high season of highway construction. To join in on the conversation of concerns or questions, plan to attend next Tuesday’s Town Meeting. In the meantime, questions can be addressed to the town staff at 783-2282.
– W.A. Ewing