Jun 28, 2010 8:05 PM by David Ortiviz

Big improvements planned for Lake Ave. in Pueblo

Those who live around Lake Ave. in Pueblo will tell you old buildings and few improvements over the years have given it a bad reputation, but now big plans are underway to attract more businesses and outdoor enthusiasts.

Before I-25 was built, Lake Ave. was alive with business. "With restaurants and motels," said Gary Trujillo, with the Urban Renewal Authority of Pueblo. Some of the old motels and bars have remained, but sidewalks are littered with weeds and trash and there are big eyesores. "You'll go down Lake Ave. now and you'll see a lot of boarded up buildings and we're wanting to change that," said Trujillo.

The Urban Renewal Authority of Pueblo plans to make $12 million in improvements to Lake Ave. and Pueblo Blvd, starting with big changes to the road itself. "Lake Ave. is much wider than it needs to be," said Trujillo. Two lanes of traffic in both directions will be reduced to one lane each way. Plus, they plan to build larger sidewalks, include street parking and possibly build roundabouts.

"The remaining area is going to be street scape much like you see on Union Ave," said Trujillo. They'll plant flowers, trees and like Union Ave., their goal for Lake Ave. is to attract more foot traffic and attract more businesses.

The City of Pueblo got the ball rolling earlier this month, when  it re-opened Lake Minnequa. There's new basketball courts and plans for other sports facilities.

Also, the city plans to build a new fire station along Lake Ave. sometime soon. Anchored by St. Mary-Corwin hospital developers think this old neighborhood can be rejuvenated. "Eventually as my experience, once you push over that first domino then the rest of them will start of fall," said Trujillo.

Phase one of this project is scheduled to start at the beginning of 2011.

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