Redesign of non-potable water project impacts W. Rio Grande, Abbott

       West Rio Grande Street from Moreno Avenue to Eighth Street will be closed from Feb. 26 until possibly March 31.
       The closure is necessary for work on a pipeline that will eventually bring non-potable water to Bear Creek Park, according to Colorado Springs Utilities project manager Darlene Garcia.
       Also feeling the effect of the work will be businesses along Abbott Lane, east of Eighth Street - including the Humane Society and Wal-Mart. This is because the line will be installed under Abbott. However, Garcia said the work there will be done at night - from about 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. - so as to reduce the impact.
       This will limit Wal-Mart's night shoppers to the southerly access onto Eighth Street, which has just a right-in, right-out access.
       She said consideration is being given to putting flaggers on Eighth Street so southbound drivers at night can turn left into Wal- Mart at that access.
       The main work on Rio Grande will initially focus on a deep pit that needs to be dug just west of Eighth Street. “It has to be pretty deep,” Garcia said, adding that work on it may take a few weeks.
       Initially, the non-potable project was not expected to impact traffic, but concerns about “slope movement” caused Utilities to alter the design, Garcia said.
       When complete, the line will be 8,200 feet long. The non-potable water, after being treated at Colorado Springs Utilities' wastewater treatment plant, will be pumped to Bear Creek Park. The line will go along Fountain Creek, over to Abbott and under Eighth to Rio Grande before entering the park.
       The project will save an estimated 16 million gallons of drinking water per year, according to Utilities.
        Garcia said she hopes Rio Grande will not need to be closed all of March, but “you never know with boring (a hole in the ground), what you're going to hit.”

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