Taxpayer-funded cone zones galore in 2018
Posted: Jan 02, 2018 10:45 PM MST Updated: Jan 03, 2018 5:13 AM MST
Colorado Springs voters agreed to open their wallets to help pay for major road improvement projects, and 2018 will bring a sea of cones and barrels amid the return on their investment. Dozens of projects are scheduled for both the Issue 2C 0.62% sales tax and the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) one-cent sales tax.
“Somewhere along the lines of $50 million to $100 million of construction this year,” said city engineering manager Mike Chaves, who oversees PPRTA projects. Among the most notable PPRTA projects in 2018, Chaves says, will be the widening of Dublin Boulevard just west of Powers Boulevard. The short, curved stretch of the busy roadway narrows from four lanes to two, creating a bottleneck for drivers in the area. “For what the traffic is, it’s not adequate,” said driver Susan Fullner. Chaves says the road will be widened to five lanes — two in each direction and a center turn lane — beginning this spring.
Another 2018 PPRTA project likely to cause major traffic impacts is replacement of the North Academy Boulevard bridge over Cottonwood Creek, just south of Woodmen Road. “We’ll reduce Academy from six lanes — three each way — down to two each way,” Chaves said. Work will likely begin in February. As part of the project, Cottonwood Creek trail will be relocated along the creek itself under the new bridge.
PPRTA projects already under way will continue to create traffic impacts, including median, drainage, and paving work along East Pikes Peak Avenue from downtown past Memorial Park to Printers Parkway. The project began in Fall 2017 and will last through most of 2018. The second half of a two-year project on West Colorado Avenue at the border of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs will also continue throughout 2018.
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CLICK HERE for more about 2C projects.