Utilities: El Paso Boulevard to reopen in mid-February with completion of water line
El Paso Boulevard will remain closed to through traffic between Beckers Drive and Columbia Road - with no detour available - until mid-February.
The closure will allow Colorado Springs Utilities crews to finish a project to replace two failing segments of a raw-water connection between the Pikes Peak reservoirs and the Mesa Water Treatment Plant at Mesa Road and Fillmore Street.
One segment is near central Manitou Springs and the other is along El Paso from Beckers to Columbia (as well as a few hundred feet up Columbia to Truman Drive).
Springs Utilities started on the Beckers-to-Columbia segment in mid-December,
The good news is that crews are finishing ahead of the old schedule for El Paso, which had estimated only "spring 2018." The updated time frame narrowing it to mid-February was provided by Utilities spokesperson Natalie Eckhart.
The temporary no-detour situation applies even to local traffic. The project's current, final focus on El Paso is near Academy Riding Stables and the Buffalo Lodge, and the nearest streets on either side - Columbia and Via Maria Theresa - do not connect with each other.
Earlier in the project, through traffic on El Paso had been able to use neighborhood side streets for detours.
The only other east-west through-traffic options are Colorado/Manitou Avenue - which is reduced to one lane with flaggers at Columbia Road because of the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) project - and Highway 24.
Utilities officials have previously said they had hoped to delay replacing the water-line segments until after WAAP was finished (its schedule calls for December 2018). However, the line work had to be undertaken sooner because those pipe segments started failing, according to Utilities.
Westside Pioneer article