Fillmore project update: Light at Parker is turned back off
Operational since early February as part of a major Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) project, the stoplight at Fillmore and Parker streets has been bagged and put out of service for now.
“This was a City of Colorado Springs Engineering decision based on safety issues,” reads a March 28 press release from Sharilyn Kimberlain of the contractor, Blue Ridge Construction. “It was originally put in place for the safety of the traveling public along with the construction crews. Since the signal was put into operation, there have been many concerns and complaints about the safety issues it was now causing.”
The $7.2 million project features the westward realignment of Chestnut Street from the I-25/ Fillmore interchange to cross Fillmore where Parker is now. Parker will become a cul de sac south of Fillmore, while the new Chestnut will cross Fillmore to create a four-way intersection at that point.
No accidents had occurred, but “people were not obeying the light,” explained Scott Barnhart, the project manager with City Public Works. “We wanted to err on the side of caution.”
Reasons he suggested for the compliance problem were that the Parker Street light was nearly always green for Fillmore traffic (so motorists did not expect it to change), the location does not look like an active intersection yet and the construction around it could distract them from noticing it.
According to Barnhart and Kimberlain, the new plan is to keep the stoplight off until the Chestnut realignment is open to traffic. The rough prediction for that to happen is June or July.
The light had helped Blue Ridge in moving heavy equipment from one side of Fillmore to the other. But for now at least, such crossings will have to occur at the existing Chestnut light at the interchange, Barnhart said.
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