Westside Pioneer Home Page

A 600-foot segment of the Centennial extension was built this spring. The view looks north from a point north of Mesa Valley Road, with the VA Clinic in the background. The extension has taken some time. The stretch between about Mesa Valley and Van Buren was built in 2005 (and final-paved in 2012), and the portion that the clinic sits beside was built in 2007. The current plan is to complete the entire extension in 2021.
Westside Pioneer photo

Agreement puts Centennial extension on path to completion - 2021 at soonest

July 9, 2018
       In a non-surprise to followers of the $13.5 million Centennial Boulevard extension project, its planned completion has been pushed back - from late 2020 (the date announced last year) to the summer of 2021.
       This schedule change was revealed in a June press release from Colorado Springs Engineering's project team. Project manager Aaron Egbert even told the Pikes Peak Rural
A backhoe for Dwire Earthmoving is shown in November 2017, during the early stages of building the latest segment (600 feet) of the Centennial extension. The VA clinic is in the background. In the foreground is the north end (at the time) of the extension north of Mesa Valley Road. The new segment was completed this spring (see photo at top of page).
Westside Pioneer file photo
Transportation Authority (PPRTA) board in June that it might take a “perfect world” to finish the work by 2022. He later clarified that this was a reflection of the administrative complications in putting the project together.
       Any delay could be lengthened if the MVS Development group does not move promptly - though it has pledged it will - on its share of the extension's advance work, which includes restoring a former landfill.
       In that event, the road opening could be put off about three more years - with the ultimate deadline being the expiration of the voter-approved PPRTA's current 10-year term in December 2024.
       With the project funded by the PPRTA's sales tax, “we have a commitment to the voters to finish [by then],” Egbert explained.
       The four-lane extension will continue Centennial south from Fillmore Street about 1½ miles to the Fontanero/I-25 interchange. About half of it is built.
Aaron Egbert of City Engineering, the Centennial extension project manager, talks to people who gathered in August 2016 for a public hike of the right of way between Fontanero and Van Buren streets.
Westside Pioneer file photo
A city contractor built the last part of the segment from Fillmore to Van Buren this spring (although sidewalks, signage and other amenities are still to come). However, the city has said it will not open any of the extension to motorists until it's built all the way through.
       The 47-acre MVS property, on which the company hopes eventually to build houses, straddles the extension right of way south of Van Buren.
       MVS' landfill restoration will cap a long-ago, 18-acre dumping ground with about 12 feet of new soil. The process will be overseen through a state-approved process called a Voluntary Cleanup Plan (VCUP).
       MVS reached an agreement with the city, PPRTA and Colorado Springs Utilities in July that it will complete the VCUP by summer 2019. Also, taking advantage of having earth-moving equipment on hand, MVS is tasked with subgrading the extension right of way through its property. A third element of the agreement is for MVS to “clean up” its right-of-way easements.
       “It is the intention of MVS Development, LLC to meet its obligations under this agreement,” reads an e-mail statement from Ted Waterman of MVS. He was responding to a Westside Pioneer question as to how motivated his company is. He pledged that the company's VCUP/grading work will be done “by late summer of 2019.”
       After that, according to the agreement, the city is to finish the extension construction within 24 months - hence, the year 2021.
       But what if - even with the best of intentions - MVS does not follow through? Archives show the developer has been considering a VCUP at least since November 2010, when a company representative talked about it at a City Planning Commission meeting, in conjunction with a concept plan to build 411 homes. But no homes were ever built, and the concept plan has since expired, Egbert said.
       MVS has a new financial incentive. The above-mentioned agreement includes the company being paid $1.4 million from the Centennial extension's project budget for the VCUP, subgrading and easement work.
       Egbert said the new agreement is not contingent on MVS' homebuilding efforts, “It's a contract,” he elaborated. “They do this, we pay them this. We're paying them for dirt work.” To be fair, though, he pointed out, the company has previously "conveyed a lot of roadway to us," including space for the extension through the property.
       In addition, City Engineering obtained approval from the PPRTA board in June to authorize $2.9 million in case the city winds up having to perform the tasks instead of MVS. Another way of looking at that amount, as City Engineering Manager Mike Chaves outlined in a memo to the PPRTA, if MVS does do the work (for $1.4 million), the project budget will have saved $1.5 million.

Westside Pioneer article
(Transportation: Centennial Extension)

Would you like to respond to this article? The Westside Pioneer welcomes letters at editor@westsidepioneer.com. (Click here for letter-writing criteria.)