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A southeasterly view from a nearby knoll shows the original part of the Centennial extension, built about 12 years ago by the Indian Hills developer (with additional paving several years later by the city), from Van Buren Street to a point north of Mesa Valley Road (foreground left). At far left can be seen the lower end of the several-hundred-foot gap between the Indian Hills section and a section built about nine years ago, south of Fillmore, in front of what's now the Lindstrom VA Clinic. Because of neighborhood fears about cut-through traffic, the segment above has never been officially opened to traffic, and the city has pledged it will not be until the extension is complete all the way from Fillmore to Fontanero.
Westside Pioneer photo

Centennial extension meeting July 14; Sondermann Park access issue

Area resident Teshia Redwine uses the long-time pedestrian access into Sondermann Park just south of the dead end of Fontanero Street. A city consultant's preliminary design plans show a need to lower the grade considerably in that part of Fontanero for the Centennial extension project, which would force the elimination of this access.
Westside Pioneer photo
       A public meeting on plans to build the long-discussed Centennial Boulevard extension will be held Thursday, July 14 at the Academy for Advanced & Creative Learning building, 2510 N. Chestnut St.
       The time frame will be 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
       The four-lane road, roughly 1˝ miles long, will connect Fillmore Street on the north and the Fontanero/ I-25 interchange on the south. From Fillmore to Van Buren Street, two segments, each about a quarter-mile, were previously built by land developers. However, a gap of a few hundred feet remains between them.
       From Van Buren to Fontanero Street, the project route is mostly open land to the upper end of what is now Fontanero.
       The city's project team will host the July 14 session, following up on get-togethers with individual property owners and a June meeting by city design consultants with the Mesa Springs Community Association.
       According to project spokesperson Lisa Bachman, the design effort is far from a “done deal” and people's ideas are welcomed.
       An association concern - one that its leadership raised several years ago when extension plans were still conceptual - is how Mesa Springs residents can access 100-acre Sondermann Park once a four-lane road replaces the two-lane Fontanero (which currently dead ends a few blocks west of the interchange). Preliminary extension designs show the grade being greatly lowered at that point, which would cut off the current pedestrian access just south of the dead end.
       One long-time neighborhood suggestion has been a pedestrian overpass, and this also came up in June. But the consultants expressed doubts about the idea, questioning how much such an amenity would get used and proposing a less direct access a block or so away.
       This triggered an appeal from Debbie Postlewait, who said she's lived in Mesa Springs for 32 years: “If the road's going to be there, let us keep the neighborhood access we've always had.”
       In a follow-up e-mail, City Senior Engineer Aaron Egbert told the Westside Pioneer, “I have asked AECOM [the consultant] to investigate option[s] for connectivity to the park.”
       According to a press release, other issues that the project team has heard include landscaping, lighting, street connections and aesthetics.
       Questions about noise, speeding and road maintenance came up June 14.
       City plans call for completing the roadway design this year, with construction starting in 2017 and likely continuing into 2018.
       Extension funding will come from $10.45 million approved by voters for Centennial as part of renewing the 1-cent sales tax for the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) in the 2012 election.
       The city estimates the new road will handle about 15,000 cars a day, taking pressure off Chestnut as well as Fillmore streets.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 7/2/16, updated 7/3/16; Transportation: Major Roads)

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