Thursday, March 12, 2020

25 trees tagged for removal, replacement in America the Beautiful Park

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2020 at 8:45 AM

A sharp-eyed citizen dialed in this week to let us know the city is planning to rip out a bunch of trees as well as a fountain from America the Beautiful Park to make way for the new $18.7 million pedestrian bridge.

Well, it's true. The city plans to remove 25 mature trees in the park and along Cimino Drive and a fountain the city says hasn't worked for a decade to accommodate installation of the bridge.

Below is an illustration the city provided for how the bridge will be swung into place.

City spokesperson Vanessa Zink provides this description of bridge assembly and placement:
The pedestrian bridge contractor will assemble the pedestrian bridge in the gravel parking lot opposite of the entrance to America the Beautiful Park. Due to the structure type and the railroad requirement to limit the impact to their operations, the bridge will more or less be finished in the gravel parking lot. Once complete, tractors will lift each end of the bridge and rotate it from a north/south configuration to an east/west configuration, then drive it across the railroad tracks and place it on the abutments. The bridge will weigh well over a million pounds when it’s moved, and the tractors will need a level and stable pad to rotate the bridge and drive it into place.
click to enlarge COURTESY CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS
  • Courtesy city of Colorado Springs
The 250-foot-long bridge will link the Olympic and Paralympic Museum, due to open in late May, with the park, and construction is to get under way this spring and summer.

Trees and even light poles are marked with blue ribbons, meaning they're tagged for removal.
click to enlarge PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
click to enlarge PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
City spokesperson Vanessa Zink says the deciduous trees on the earthen mound are pear trees, and the others are white oak. Evergreen trees marked for removal are blue spruce.

The fountains in question flank the entry point to the park, as illustrated here:
click to enlarge The one on the left will be removed and not replaced, while the one on the right will remain, Zink says. - COURTESY CITY OF COLORADO SPRINGS
  • Courtesy city of Colorado Springs
  • The one on the left will be removed and not replaced, while the one on the right will remain, Zink says.

Construction, she notes in an email, "will not affect the Julie Penrose fountain."

Once construction is completed, the trees and landscaping will be replaced.

"Unfortunately," Zink notes, "the trees are not suitable for being preserved for replanting, so they will be replaced with younger trees of the same species. The fountain on the southern entrance mound has not been operational for more than a decade. The mound will be replaced and trees and shrubs replanted, but the non-functioning fountain will not be replaced."

Other information about the bridge project can be found on the project webpage.

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