21st/24 safety work shifts from highway

       The safety project at Highway 24 and 21st Street is no longer slowing traffic because of work on the highway's left-turn lanes.

Work on a new right-turn configuration onto Highway 24 (upper right, background) causes northbound 21st Street traffic to back up this week. The green light is at Bott Avenue.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Now it's slowing traffic because of work on 21st Street's new northbound right-turn alignment that includes construction of a new raised “island.”
       But the impact on the highway should be less now than the first couple of weeks after the project started in late June, according to Colleen Dawson of Nolte Associates, the project manager on the $225,000 Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) project. At that time, motorists going both east and west were often being funneled into one lane each way on the four-lane expressway. The 21st Street island work, just south of the highway, could cause “intermittent” lane closures for eastbound vehicles for the next few weeks, but “westbound traffic is flowing normally again,” the engineer said.
       As for 21st Street, northbound slowdowns will probably be the norm until the project gets completed, probably by September, Dawson said. Development of the island and the new, more perpendicular right-turn configuration started last week, with the closure of the old, curving right-turn lane causing traffic to back up past Broadway Street.
       There could be a lane closure through the next weekend or two. This would be necessary even though no work would be occurring on Saturdays or Sundays, because “everything is in the process of being demolished or rebuilt,” Dawson said.
       She emphasized, however, that the contractor, US Roads, “is really working hard to get lanes open as soon as they can.”
       The island work will be followed by the installation of a permanent median on 21st between the highway and Bott Avenue to replace the temporary yellow delineators that have been there for about five years.
       After that, the project will be finalized by permanent striping of the new lanes. The highway's new offset left-turn lanes will also be painted at that time. Dawson said the contractor's plan is to save money by only having to bring in the specialized pavement-painting vehicle one time.
       The design changes were triggered after several accidents put 21st and 24 on the city's most dangerous intersections list in 2006.

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