Drainage, concrete upgrades around AACL

       Colorado Springs street crews have installed multiple temporary pothole patches over the years at Chestnut and Van Buren streets.

While students enjoy recess on the school's front lawn, concrete workers with city-contracted NORAA shape a pedestrian ramp in front of the Academy for Advanced & Creative Learning last week.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The most recent work, however, is meant to be permanent, according to Doug Stern, a street repair inspector who oversees the “on-call” projects for the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA).
       He said the $81,000 project, slated for completion this week, includes 1,300 feet of perforated six-inch underground pipe that will collect groundwater. Called a “French drain,” the pipe has been laid around the entire property of the Academy for Advanced & Creative Learning (AACL), 2510 N. Chestnut St., and connects to the city's stormwater system, he said.
       The project began this winter. What happened in the past was the groundwater (water below the surface) working its way up and compromising any pavement or curb repairs, Stern said. One of the most persistent signs has been a deep, recurring pothole at the northwest corner of the intersection.
       After the drainage improvements, crews began shaping new curb and gutter along both Van Buren and Chestnut. Other concrete work included building pedestrian ramps at either side of the Chestnut traffic signal/street crossing in front of the school and adjusting the steps leading up from the crossing to match up with the new ramp, Stern said.
       City Street Division crews did the drainage work, and the concrete work was contracted to Blue Ridge Construction, he said.
       The problem had been brought to the city's attention by AACL Principal Nikki Myers. The RTA's on-call program prioritizes projects on the basis of need, and “in front of schools is our biggest priority,” Stern said.
       Paul Bowman, president of the school's parent's organization (PAACL), said the problem had become apparent “when we were cleaning up the school last spring and summer… It looked like a layer of asphalt had been laid on top of the street, but that broken and damaged areas along the curb and drain had not been repaired. The curbs were crumbling and broken, and a lot of the concrete in the drainage area along the curb were broken and heaved up, preventing rain water from draining downhill. There was a long, stagnant pond full of scum and silt. Hopefully, this work is being done better and the repair will last.”

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