Fillmore-Chestnut project under way

       Blue Ridge Construction began work on the Fillmore-Chestnut project this week after receiving a Notice to Proceed from City Engineering Oct. 24.

Sharilyn Smith of Blue Ridge Construction (hand on map) answers questions from citizens attending the pre-construction meeting for the Fillmore-Chestnut project Oct. 24 in the Coronado High School cafeteria.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Expected to last about a year, the project is intended to ease Fillmore Street traffic flow by realigning Chestnut Street away from the Fillmore/I-25 interchange. Upgrading the four-lane arterial west of I-25 ranked as an A-list (high priority) project when the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) was approved by voters in 2004.
       Blue Ridge is working under a $4.4 million contract approved by the RTA board about two weeks ago. The overall project budget of $7.2 million includes a $400,000 contingency fund and has already paid for a design contract with URS Corp. and project right of way.
       Officials from the city, RTA, Blue Ridge and URS answered questions and provided current details on the project during an open house Oct. 24 in the Coronado High cafeteria that was attended by close to 100 people over its two-hour span.
       The event revealed a six-phase approach, in which initial work will focus on laying in underground utilities and a Comcast cable line along the new Chestnut route, according to Sharilyn Smith of Blue Ridge.
       Later parts of Phase 1 will focus on building the new Chestnut alignment, which will move the north-south two-lane street up the hill a few hundred feet, replacing Parker Street as the next intersection west of I-25.
       Parker itself will become a cul-de-sac stopping about two-thirds of the way north of Taylor Street.
       “By May, we hope the majority of the new Chestnut will be finished,” Smith said.
       The plan is to keep the current Chestnut open until the new route can be opened.
       Neither Chestnut nor Fillmore is to close during the project, although night work - necessary to keep the project from taking longer - will narrow Fillmore to one lane each way at times, Smith said.
       The nights when work will occur will be announced in advance, said RTA project manager Aaron Egbert.
       The gas stations at either corner of the currrent Chestnut/Fillmore have been bought by the Colorado Department of Transporta-tion (CDOT), which needed the right of way for a future (as yet unfunded) Fillmore /I-25 interchange upgrade. The Shell station remains open, but will likely be closed within a month. According to Smith, a new convenience store/gas station is to be built at the new Chestnut/Fillmore intersection.
       A big citizen concern continues to be how vehicles going west up the Fillmore Hill will be affected, particularly during bad weather, by the stoplight that's to go in at the new Chestnut/Fillmore. URS designs call for the grade between the interchange and there to be reduced from the current 9 to 7 percent, and Ryan Weaver of URS said the intersection itself will be about 6 percent.

Westside Pioneer article