Utilities provides additional info about weekend closure of Fillmore Street

       Colorado Springs Utilities has provided more information about this weekend's closure of Fillmore Street between Centennial Boulevard and Straus Lane for a water- line project.

Robin McGrath
Courtesy of Colorado Springs Utilities

       Although variable-message signs (VSMs) on Fillmore went up early this week telling motorists the closure is from March 11-13, the actual planned starting is Friday, March 11 at 7 p.m., with a finish time (barring unexpected weather changes) no later than Monday, March 14, at 5 a.m.
       Drivers unfamiliar with the area will be detoured by signs north to Garden of the Gods Road or south to Uintah Street, explained Kristin Flannery, a spokesperson for Colorado Springs Utilities.
       Westsiders and others who know this part of town are expected to find shorter routes.
       In any case, she noted, there will be a police officer on duty at either end of the barricaded portion of Fillmore (one at Centennial and one at Straus), if people get lost.
       The VSMs will be at Centennial and at Chestnut Street to facilitate detours, Flannery said.
       Businesses along Fillmore between Chestnut and Straus will be open and accessible, she added.
       The street closure was deemed necessary because Utilities crews need to dig into the south side of Fillmore to replace a “T” connection on the street's 12-inch water main. The T feeds into a perpendicular main going north along dead-end Fillmore Ridge Heights. That street is a short distance west of (and up the hill from) Straus and Fillmore.
       Preliminary information from Utilities about the project had been that the line connects with another water system to the north, but in actuality it only serves Fillmore Ridge Heights, making it a “one-way feed,” according to Dave Grossman, also a Utilities spokesperson.
       The work this weekend is the first of two phases. Phase two, tentatively planned this spring, will connect the new “T” to a 12-inch High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) main that's to be installed under Fillmore Ridge Heights in place of the current one made of 8-inch ductile Iron.
       “In the last year, there have been several breaks on this main and a number of small businesses served by this main are affected by the outages,” Grossman said. He added that the ductile-iron pipe was installed in 1999 and has suffered from “corrosion and soil conditions.”
       The recently developed HDPE pipe type is seen by Utilities officials as more long-lasting than iron. A similar replacement was made this winter for water mains under South 21st Street.
       Residents and businesses in the Fillmore area have been contacted about the work, and a temporary main will provide water during the work, Grossman said.
       Utilities decided to close Fillmore for the project because of the heavy traffic on the street - an average of 18,000 vehicles a day - and a belief that the work could get done faster that way. The schedule calls for crews to work day and night.

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