8th Street safety project ready for public at last
The new Eighth Street bridge, sidewalk and extended right-turn lane were scheduled to open to the public by this weekend.
The last major phase, being completed this week, was installaton of a metal handrail, about three feet high, as a safety feature where the sidewalk atop a retaining wall now stands above the Express Inn parking lot, according to city engineer and project manager Colleen Dawson. A few other minor improvements, including guard rail enhancements and lane striping on Eighth Street, are still needed, but that should be finished by next week, she said.
The project, which used a $158,000 federal safety grant as well as a $150,000 Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) allocation, is expected to improve safety for northbound motorists and pedestrians on Eighth Street between Fountain Creek and Highway 24.
The visual highlight is the 120-foot-long, 6-foot-wide pedestrian bridge over Fountain Creek, which lines up with the new sidewalk on its north end. The bridge was installed a month ago, followed by the construction of the extended turn lane (more than twice as long as before) and the completion of the wall (with the concrete sidewalk poured on top of it).
Dawson said the project would solve past dangers resulting from right-turn traffic getting backed up into the through lane and pedestrians having to walk in the street between Fountain Creek and the highway.
With occasional lane closures, the Eighth Street work has been continuing since July. The contractor is CMS Inc.
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