8th Street safety project ready for public at last

       The new Eighth Street bridge, sidewalk and extended right-turn lane were scheduled to open to the public by this weekend.

Jason Korth (wearing baseball cap) works with his brother Scott as he welds in another section of handrail for the new sidewalk atop the wall on the east side of Eighth Street. Jason is also the project manager for the contractor, CMS Inc. In the background is the recently installed Fountain Creek pedestrian footbridge that connects with the sidewalk.
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An early user of the new footbridge over Fountain Creek. Installed a month ago, the bridge is open now because the sidewalk has since been poured atop the retaining wall north of the bridge to Highway 24.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The last major phase, being completed this week, was installaton of a metal handrail, about three feet high, as a safety feature where the sidewalk atop a retaining wall now stands above the Express Inn parking lot, according to city engineer and project manager Colleen Dawson. A few other minor improvements, including guard rail enhancements and lane striping on Eighth Street, are still needed, but that should be finished by next week, she said.
       The project, which used a $158,000 federal safety grant as well as a $150,000 Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) allocation, is expected to improve safety for northbound motorists and pedestrians on Eighth Street between Fountain Creek and Highway 24.
       The visual highlight is the 120-foot-long, 6-foot-wide pedestrian bridge over Fountain Creek, which lines up with the new sidewalk on its north end. The bridge was installed a month ago, followed by the construction of the extended turn lane (more than twice as long as before) and the completion of the wall (with the concrete sidewalk poured on top of it).

A northerly view shows the new sidewalk and handrail. The latter was needed because part of the wall/sidewalk is at least five feet above the Express Inn parking lot. The welder is Scott Korth (kneeling on sidewalk), with help from his brother and CMS Inc. project manager Jason Korth.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Dawson said the project would solve past dangers resulting from right-turn traffic getting backed up into the through lane and pedestrians having to walk in the street between Fountain Creek and the highway.
       With occasional lane closures, the Eighth Street work has been continuing since July. The contractor is CMS Inc.

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