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In a view looking east, the intersection of Garden of the Gods Road and Chestnut Street can be seen in a file photo from October 2012. One noticeable change in the upcoming Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority project will be changing the stoplights in all directions so that they are on mast arms and easier to see when a bright sun is directly on them.
Westside Pioneer file photo

Contractors hired for last 2 Westside A-list projects from original RTA

Built in 1917, the 25th Street bridge over Fountain Creek is seen from the south bank of the creek, looking east. The Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority will fund minor structural improvements this fall.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Two Westside projects remaining from the original Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) A-list are nearing the start of construction.
       They are the intersection of Garden of the Gods Road at Chestnut Street and the 25th Street bridge over Fountain Creek at Naegele Road.
       Having been reduced in scope from their original plans over 10 years ago, both projects will require less work and money than anticipated when the RTA project list went to the voters in 2004.
       For each, a contractor has been chosen after a bidding process this summer, Mike Chaves of City Engineering predicted a “September time frame” for work to begin.
       Here is additional information on each:
       - GoG/Chestnut (cost $252,648; contractor CMS Inc.). Voters in '04 had OK'd spending $375,000. The scope change resulted from a study in 2013 concluding that it would take a multimillion-dollar project (adding a lane of traffic) to dramatically decrease congestion, and such money was not in the budget, Chaves said.
       The most visible change will be to the traffic signals. They will have mast arms, which are stronger than the current pole-to-pole cable set-up as well as backplates that will make the signal colors easier to discern when the sun is low and shining directly on them, Chaves explained.
       Some of the signal expense will come from laying underground conduit. Other work will include upgrading the sidewalk and handicapped ramps.
       - 25th Street bridge (cost $106,109; contractor DRX). Going into the '04 election, the plan had been to replace the 100-year-old, two-lane bridge at 25th Street, at an estimated cost of $350,000. But several years later, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) developed long-range Highway 24 widening plans calling for the elimination of Naegele Road and the bridge with it.
       Additionally complicating the future, the CDOT plan includes an “aesthetic” element allowing a pedestrian highway overpass at 25th Street (which would have to be funded by the city). As drawn up, the overpass would connect with a bridge over the creek at 25th.
       There is no schedule or funding for any of the CDOT construction. In any case, the RTA work should add another 10 to 20 years to the bridge's life, Chaves estimated, noting that its wear-and-tear would be noticeably reduced if it ever becomes pedestrian-only.

       In the 2004 election, voters were assured that the A-list projects would be under construction within the 2005-2014 time frame. Such designated work is funded from the RTA's “capital” revenues, coming from a 55-percent share of the 1-cent RTA sales tax.
       A new A-list (and renewal of the capital portion of the tax) for the time frame of 2015-2024 was approved by voters in 2012.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 8/22/14; Transportation: General)

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