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Incline To Close In August For Repairs


If the Manitou Incline remains on your bucket list, you may want to get around to doing it this summer.

In August the Incline will shut down for significant repairs--much to the chagrin of regulars.

"Super frustrating," Kalynn Casey said. "That's probably the best time to do it [the Incline]...it's the peak of summer, everybody wants to be out hiking."

But Colorado Springs officials say the project is critical for the safety of hikers in the long run. More than 20 percent of the Incline--a former railroad originally constructed in 1907--is severely damaged. After the railroad shut down in 1990, the existing rail ties were left unmaintained.

"Unmanaged trespass and use of the Incline have resulted in significant erosion on the mountainside and dangerous trail conditions," the city said in a news release.

The Incline "Trail Enhancement Project" seeks to improve safety and long-term sustainability. The city says work will include replacing damaged retaining walls, cleaning debris and stabilizing existing rail ties. Engineers will also install new drainage structures to help reduce erosion.

Some hikers told 11 News they don't want the city to go overboard with repairs.

"I hope they don't do too much to take away that jagged quality of it, 'cause that's why we all love it, because it is, it's not something that's regular," Colin McAllister, who hikes the Incline weekly, said.

The city says they are looking at the long run; doing upkeep now to allow future users to enjoy it.

The project is expected to be completed in November.

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