Too much of a good thing?
Scope escalates on Colorado Ave. paving

       Over the next few weeks, paving machines will descend on two key parts of the older Westside: Colorado Avenue and the three Old Colorado City parking lots.
       Spurred by concerns from the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group about losing parking spaces simultaneously on the street and in their lots, Colorado Springs street engineers have been meeting with Westside business leaders to set a schedule that causes the least impacts.
       “We're happy to have the work done,” said Nancy Stovall of OCCA. “The timing is the big issue.”
       A full schedule had not yet been finalized at press time. The two stories below detail the currently known information about each project. (See other story)


       A $654,000 project that will fix the road surface on Colorado Avenue from Walnut to 30th Street is set to begin Friday, Aug. 24.
       A two-inch pavement overlay will follow prep work that will “edge mill” both sides of the avenue and scrape off up to two inches of old overlay from the center.
       Weather permitting, the work is expected to continue until mid-September. Traffic will be reduced to no less than one lane each way in the several-block area where crews are working each day, according to Bob Syme, pavement manager for the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority.
       The exact project scope is the west side of Walnut to a point 60 feet west of 30th. Later this year, additional new asphalt is to be laid, as part of the COSMIX I-25 widening project, from a point just east of the new I-25 bridge over Colorado Avenue up to Walnut, according to Kyle Troxel of COSMIX contractor Rockrimmon Constructors.
       Edge milling involves removing the old pavement 12 feet from the gutter on either side of the road. This will ensure proper drainage when the new asphalt is put down, Syme noted
       The center part of the road will not be milled this time because it received that treatment six years ago, he said. Earlier this week, he had also believed there was no need for scraping in the middle at all; however, last-minute RTA scrutiny determined that there had been so much crack-filling on the previous layer that putting asphalt over it could cause problems, explained Carrie McCausland of City Public Communications in a later interview. As a result, the old overlay needs to be scraped below where cracks were filled.
       Syme pointed out that crews will need to be careful about scraping too far, because of the complications that can occur in hitting the former streetcar tracks that are buried in some blocks beneath the center of the road.
       Another late design change, also based on a closer study of the existing pavement condition, has been to increase the thickness of the overlay from 1 ½ to 2 inches, McCausland said.
       The overall result is a project which is now considerably costlier than the roughly $350,000 the Street Department estimated two months ago. The cost is being covered through city and RTA funds.
       The additional work has also extended the project time frame from the originally planned two weeks to about three.
       The avenue overlay is one of several added to the 2007 list by the city and RTA as a result of “last winter's damaging freeze-thaw cycles,” McCausland said. Currently, the road's surface is damaged by cracks and pot holes. City Council member Randy Purvis, a Westside resident, had called attention to these problems at a council meeting in May.
       Nolte Associates Inc. is handling the City/PPRTA contract on the paving portion of this project and Schmidt Construction Company is the paving contractor, according to a city press release.

Westside Pioneer article