South part of ‘new’ Chestnut set to open

       With curbs, gutters, sidewalk and pavement in place, the “new” Chestnut Street south of Fillmore is tentatively set to open by the end of next week.

The season of the ditch.... The north side of Uintah Street gets widened for a bike lane in the project between Walnut Street and Mesa Road. See STORY, PHOTOS.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The reroute work by contractor Blue Ridge Con-struction will be the latest milestone in the $7 million Pikes Peak Rural Transpor-tation Authority (RTA) project just west of I-25.
       The changeover had been announced for this week, but had to be delayed because of weather and construction issues, RTA project manager Scott Barnhart said.
       Designed to improve Fillmore traffic flow, the new design curves Chestnut, both north and south of Fillmore, a few hundred feet west of its current intersection at the I-25 interchange. The current “old' Chestnut south of Fillmore will be permanently closed to traffic down to where the curve begins, near the furniture store parking lot.
       On the north side, utility work is continuing, so that segment of Chestnut is not expected to be open for several weeks, Barnhart said.
       Meanwhile, road-users on the new Chestnut who are approaching from the south will find a temporary T-intersection at Fillmore.
       A stoplight, installed there several weeks ago, will be activated to control traffic. Most of the green time will be allocated to Fillmore, a four-lane arterial. “The light will also be coordinated with the existing I-25/Fillmore/Chestnut signal in order to keep vehicles from having to stop going westbound up the hill on Fillmore,” Barnhart said.

The season of the ditch.... Trackhoes prepare for utility lines under Fillmore Street.
Westside Pioneer photo

       For “old” Chestnut traffic approaching from the north, “the only significant change will be that there is no longer a northbound green- signal phase (allowing more time for the other signal phases),” he pointed out, “and southbound traffic can only go eastbound on Fillmore, westbound on Fillmore, and southbound onto I-25.”
       Most affected will be motorists on Chestnut, a two-lane neighborhood collector. “Anyone traveling along Chestnut across Fillmore [north or south] will need to make a right turn and then an immediate left turn,” Barnhart said.
       In general, he urged motorists to “pay the utmost attention through this area as there will be a new traffic signal, as well as turning movements that motorists will not be used to.”
       He added that by the time the new Chestnut opens, the utilities work along the north side of Fillmore - which has been going on for several weeks - should not be an issue. That work, which involves installing a gas line and non-potable water line, is moving up the hill and will be west of the intersection by the time it opens, he said.
       Another change for motorists in that area is that Parker Street (south of Fillmore) has been remade into a cul-de-sac north of Taylor Street. It used to form a T-intersection (without a stoplight) at Fillmore in the same place the new Chestnut will cross it.
       Work also has begun on a two-acre detention pond in an area including the site of the former Shell station at the southwest corner of Fillmore and the old Chestnut. Designed for a 100-year storm, the pond can relieve potential flooding by holding water that flows into it for up to 72 hours before releasing it into the city stormwater system. Work would have begun sooner; however, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) took longer to demolish the station than expected, Barnhart said.
       CDOT also recently finished demolition of the former Conoco station at the northwest corner of Fillmore and the old Chestnut. The property will not be affected by the RTA project; however, CDOT officials have said it will be used in the eventual replacement of the Fillmore/I-25 interchange.
       No funding is yet identified for that project, but a design is in the works, according to CDOT engineer Mark Andrew.

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