Problem-free opening for new Chestnut ‘south leg’
Traffic flowed Aug. 19 onto the south leg of the “new” Chestnut Street, intersecting Fillmore Street farther west than before.
No accidents were reported, and “I think it's been working pretty well,” said Leif Neufeld, site superintendent for Blue Ridge Construction.
He noted that efforts had been made ahead of time to get the word out, through press releases and signage.
Blue Ridge is the contractor on the $7 million Pikes Peak Rural Transpor-tation Authority (RTA) project that's aimed at improving Fillmore's traffic flow.
The new Chestnut segment is about 1,000 feet long, curving northwest from a point near Taylor Street to a new stoplight at Fillmore Street.
Parker Street, which used to come up to Fillmore in the same place (but without a stoplight) has been made into a walled-off cul-de-sac. An opening in the wall provides a nonmotorized pass-through between Parker and the new Chestnut.
A curb cut has also been built on the new Chestnut to allow access to and from the parking lot for the Waffle House restaurant on Fillmore Street.
For the time being, on the north side of Fillmore next to the interchange, Chestnut still comes in. The lane movements there are the same as before, except that southbound Chestnut motorists wanting to stay on that street need to make a right on Fillmore, then a left at the new Chestnut intersection (there is a turn arrow).
A right and a left are also necessary for Chestnut traffic going north.
Sometime in the coming weeks - when utilities, concrete and paving work are completed - the north leg of Chestnut will be realigned away from the interchange in a manner similar to the south side. The two will connect at the new stoplight.
A current construction anomaly - on both sides of Fillmore, just east of the new intersection - is recently poured, seemingly too-high curb and gutter. According to Neufeld, later in the project the asphalt along there will be raised a few feet to line up with the concrete. The plan is also to create a flatter intersection at the new Fillmore-Chestnut and - in a separate state project that's not yet funded - a slightly higher I-25 interchange, he explained.
The “old” Chestnut, which had always gone straight north-south through an intersection beside the I-25 interchange, is now closed between Taylor and Fillmore. Consisting of two lanes of asphalt, this stretch is roughly 600 feet long, Neufeld said.
A man walking his dog there Aug. 19 said he enjoyed the lack of traffic. But that will change somewhat. Plans call for a a portion of the former roadway to be dug up as part of a two-acre detention pond for drainage coming down the hill. The pond is already under construction where the Shell station used to be at the corner.
The entire project is set for completion by the end of the year. Fillmore was an “A-list” project on the RTA list OK'd by voters in 2004. The RTA is funded by a 1 percent sales tax.
Westside Pioneer article