Shade Structures, Pedestrian Bridges And Other Improvements To Pueblo’s Arkansas River Are Underway

Shanna Lewis/For CPR News
The hiking and biking path across from the Arkansas River Levee in Pueblo, Colo., Nov. 29, 2019. The levee was constructed to protect the city after 1921’s devastating flood.

By next summer Puebloans should have a new walking and bike path on top of the Arkansas River levee.

A curving three-quarter-mile concrete trail will meander among shade structures on top of the rebuilt levee overlooking the white water park.

Two pedestrian bridges will cross the river and link the existing bike path to the new levee trail, creating a 1.5-mile loop. Benches, bike racks, and trash cans will also be placed in the area.

Steven Meier is the acting director for Pueblo Public Works. He said the shade structures will have metal roofs that look like fallen leaves.

“They're going to skewed a little bit so you can see that leaf pattern from afar,” Meier said. “I think they’ll be kind of cool.”

Pueblo Works Department
A rendering of plans along the Arkansas River levee in Pueblo, showing where shade shelters, pedestrian bridges and other amenities are set to be built.

The work will cost more than $2.5 million, with funding coming from a variety of state and local agencies. Proposed future amenities include an upgraded whitewater park.

“I think it’s a great asset to the community by giving them another accessible loop down in the urban area of the city,” Meier said. “[The levee trail] gives another venue to have activities down along the river, along the kayak courses.”

Meier said this project also helps with safety along the river, because emergency vehicles and personnel will have an easier time reaching people.

The plan is part of a long-term project to improve recreational amenities and river access to more Pueblo neighborhoods. Work is expected to begin this winter.