El Paso Blvd. reopening delayed as Utilities adds gas-line project west of Columbia
Why didn't El Paso Boulevard reopen in mid-February, as had been announced earlier that month by Colorado Springs Utilities?
Steve Rodriguez of Utilities revealed at a Feb. 28 public meeting that a gas line is now being replaced, in addition to the water line replacement that had closed El Paso between Beckers Lane and Columbia Road to through traffic since mid-December.
He predicted that the new gas line segment, more than 700 feet in length, would be in place before mid-March.
Combined with an ongoing Colorado Avenue bottleneck - caused by the two-year Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) project - the El Paso closure has limited the options for east-west motorized and nonmotorized travelers going from the Westside toward Ute Pass or Manitou.
The meeting where Rodriguez spoke was an informal “coffee with a contractor” gathering, called by WAAP to inform the public about changes and impacts in (and near) the $30.9 million project west of 31st Street.
He said the gas line was a late addition to the Utilities project on El Paso. Staffers in that division of the city-owned enterprise decided that it would be good to replace the line - which was over half a century old - while the street was still torn up for the water line.
In answer to a question, Rodriguez said he does not expect any additional Utilities line replacements through that segment, such as wastewater or electrical.
Westside Pioneer article