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Public meeting Feb. 2 at Shrine Club as major avenue project gets started

       A public meeting on the major project getting started west of 31st Street will be Thursday, Feb. 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Colorado Springs Shrine Club, 6 S. 33rd St.
       Developed as the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP), the $30.9 million effort
Utility location efforts are causing occasional traffic lane closures as the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) work gets started. This photo, taken Jan. 18, looks west at the Manitou Springs welcome sign (where Colorado Avenue changes to Manitou Avenue), with a snow-laden Pikes Peak in the background. The crew here is with ULOC, a sub to WAAP contractor Wildcat Construction. Attached to a high-pressure vacuum, the hose is being used to pull dirt from a small-diameter hole that ULOC has bored through the pavement to see where utility lines are underground (see article, third-to-last paragraph).
Westside Pioneer photo
involves five government entities and has been years in the planning.
       The meeting will answer questions, a spokesperson said, introduce the contractor (Wildcat Construction) and provide news about design, phasing and traffic impacts. A presentation is planned at 6 p.m.
       Also known by its government study name - Westside Avenue Action Plan - the project will redo a roughly 1.5-mile stretch of Colorado/Manitou Avenue west of 31st Street to a point slightly east of the Manitou's Highway 24 interchange.
       Project plans call for a new bridge at Columbia Road (Adams Crossing), storm sewers and underground electric lines and (in places where they're missing now) sidewalks. Also planned are utility replacements, intersection upgrades with stoplights at Ridge Road and Columbia Road, the missing Midland Trail link and (when the project is done) two traffic lanes with a center lane instead of the current four lanes without turn lanes.
       Preliminary work since a December groundbreaking ceremony has focused on verifying utility locations through a process called "potholing," in which a small hole is bored through the pavement, then a high-pressure vacuum is put down into it to suck out dirt - several feet, if necessary. This allows visual confirmation of sewer, water and gas lines so that crews will know where to dig into the street at a later date. According to Scott Barraclough of ULOC (short for "utility locators"), a sub to WAAP contractor Wildcat Construction, the potholing effort is requiring "hundreds" of such holes in all. In conjunction with that work, intermittent lane closures have been necessary along the avenue.
       Three governments have handled the bulk of the project planning: El Paso County (which is taking the lead), Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. Colorado Springs Utilities also got involved to upgrade and enhance its facilities. In separate negotiations, the Colorado Department of Transportation last year transferred responsibility of the avenue through the project area to the county.
       For more information, call 629-7566 or e-mail info@westsideactionplan.com.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 1/18/17; Projects: Westside Avenue Action Plan)

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