Closure helps Fillmore RTA project schedule

       The weather mostly held, and a major regrading and paving of Fillmore Street for a Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) project just west of I-25 got done ahead of schedule.

Fillmore Street projects... Grading at Chestnut Sept. 21 when Fillmore was closed there.
Westside Pioneer photo

       For the effort, Fillmore had to be closed both ways from about 8 p.m. Sept. 19 to 6 p.m. Sept. 22. Initial plans had suggested work lasting an additional 12 hours, but other than some Sunday-afternoon rain and the need for minor clean-up work, “everything fell into place,” said Leif Neufeld, site superintendent for Blue Ridge Construction, the project contractor. “It went quite efficiently. I don't think we got one complaint.”
       The rare two-way closure was needed because the street grade had to be raised up to four feet west of the Fillmore/I-25 interchange to create a more level crossing at the “new Chestnut” intersection with Fillmore. In addition, a storm drain system was installed, Neufeld said.
       From a contractor's standpoint, the best news was that the work “saved a month off the project,” he said. A previously unscheduled, 24-inch raw-water-line installation by Colorado Springs Utilities last spring had added two months or more, Neufeld had previously estimated. But now the project, which started last October and was initially expected to last a year, is expected to finish up in December, he said.
       Scott Barnhart, the RTA project manager, said he has heard comments from some motorists about their not getting enough green time when travelling east on Fillmore, resulting in backups from the interchange past the new Chestnut light. However, he said that problem will be corrected when the north leg of the “new Chestnut” is completed, which will simultaneously eliminate the current need for Chestnut stoplight time in addition to the I-25 ramps.
       “In the meantime, we don't want to trap people going uphill [westbound],” Barnhart pointed out, so more green time, including a left-turn arrow, is currently being given to drivers going west on Fillmore.
       Another traffic-flow impact, continuing until possibly November, is Utilities' extension of the raw-water line on Fillmore. (See story.)

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