Fillmore/Chestnut project set to start in mid-October
Construction on the major project to realign Chestnut Street's crossing of Fillmore Street will begin in mid-October.
According to Acting City Roadway Engineer Mike Chaves, Blue Ridge Construction has been selected as the contractor. The exact cost is still being negotiated, but he is confident it will be around the $6.7 million estimate by city design consultant URS.
The work is scheduled to take a year. City traffic engineers have predicted that the end result will be improved traffic flow on Fillmore west and east of I-25.
During the project, drivers should expect lane reductions, although the worst of that will mostly occur at night, Chaves said. At a public meeting in January, attendees had been asked if they supported accelerating construction by allowing night work, and a large majority said yes.
In recent months, the city has bought and demolished seven houses south of Fillmore (five on Parker Street and two on Chestnut). This will allow northbound Chestnut to “dogleg,” as Chaves put it, west to where Parker Street is now. Chestnut will continue north across Fillmore, then dogleg to the east to rejoin the current Chestnut.
About two-thirds of the current Parker will become a cul-de-sac.
The gas stations at either corner of the current Chestnut/Fillmore intersection will be removed for the project under an RTA agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Chaves said. They needed to be taken out anyway for CDOT's planned Fillmore interchange upgrade, he explained, although such is not yet funded or scheduled (see story below).
Because Chestnut/ Fillmore is a Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) project - an A-list item from the 2004 election - the work technically cannot begin until the RTA board approves the construction contract. Chaves said he does not expect that to be an issue. The board's next monthly meeting is Oct. 11. At the Sept. 12 meeting, in giving an update on the project, he advised the board (consisting of elected officials from participating RTA governments) that he would present the contract for approval in October.
The project has been in the planning stages since 2010, when city engineers began meeting with residents and business owners in the area to discuss alternatives for the Fillmore traffic problem.
Westside Pioneer article