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City roadwork to close 21st from avenue to highway for 6 to 8 weeks this summer

April 17, 2018
       21st Street will close for six to eight weeks this summer for a reconstruction project between Colorado Avenue and Highway 24, according to plans by City Engineering.
       The shutdown is needed to speed up the work, project manager Ryan Phipps and consultant Alex Pellegrino of AECOM explained at an
Over a set of 21st Street maps and graphics, Ryan Phipps of Colorado Springs Engineering (at the end of the table) answers project questions from the Organization of Westside Neighbors board April 12 in the Westside Community Center. Board members in the photo are (from left) Linda Schlarb, Justin Stokes, Liz Gorman, Kathy Zehringer and Chad White.
Westside Pioneer photo
April meeting of the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN).
       Still to be determined is when the closure will actually occur. The project as a whole is scheduled between mid-June and October; however, the scope of work requires a full shutdown sometime between July 1 and Sept. 30, Phipps clarified.
       He asked the OWN board to communicate with other Westside entities and thus help the city decide on a time frame that would be least damaging to business and special events. OWN is a long-time volunteer advocacy group for Westside residents.
       Phipps agreed with the board that a full closure at any time would negatively affect Old Colorado City. To alleviate the impact on trade, “we will put out press releases that say Old Colorado City is open for business,” Phipps pledged.
       The only other option would be a partial closure. However, that would be less efficient, the engineers said, doubling the project period and possibly preventing completion this year.
       They did not dispute meeting comments that traffic can be heavy along that part of 21st, particularly during rush hour, but expressed confidence that motorists would find alternate routes.
       During at least part of the 21st Street closure, traffic will be detoured around the bridge, using Naegele Road and 25th Street. Phipps added that the
Workers with Trax Construction, a city contractor, spread fresh concrete at the south corner of 21st Street and Naegele Road during 2C work in 2016, the first year of the city road tax program. A project this year, funded mostly with 2C dollars, will include additional concrete work and a rebuilt 21st Street roadway.
Westside Pioneer file photo
other side streets - Cucharras and Sheldon - will be made accessible as much as possible.
       Part of the reason for a two-month closure is the time required to install a weather-resistant membrane on the bridge, Pellegrino explained.
       A full-closure strategy has been used before on city projects. A recent example is Chestnut Street in the Holland Park area, on a project Pellegrino managed in 2015-16 when he was still with City Engineering. In that instance, the street at Vondelpark Drive was fully closed to traffic for about a year so that a new bridge could be built over South Douglas Creek.
       As previously outlined in the Westside Pioneer, the initial work on 21st will involve a Colorado Springs Utilities water-main replacement, starting late this month or early May. Although that project will affect traffic, Utilities has announced no plans to close the street completely at any point.
       The city reconstruction project, funded mostly with 2C tax dollars, is expected to start in mid-June, with final paving anticipated in October, Phipps said.
       Also included will be repairs on the bridge over Fountain Creek, drainage upgrades and sidewalk infill. In a nonmotorized component, a concrete “multi-use path” will be built between the current 21st Street Midland Trail terminus and Highway 24.
       Revealed at the meeting was the city's plan to build another segment of the path, which will cut in front of the park that has the Prospector statue and connect with Naegele.
       In another amenity - also not announced before the meeting - the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) plans an add-on project after the city is done. CDOT plans to construct pedestrian islands at the 21st Street crossing on the north side of Highway 24 and to lengthen the southbound right-turn lane for 21st. The latter work should help the southbound traffic flow, according to Chris Jennings of Jacobs Engineering (a CDOT design contractor).

Westside Pioneer article
(Transportation: Major Streets)

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