Centennial extension finale to start in 2016

       The Centennial Boulevard extension finally has a timetable.
       According to City Transportation Manager Kathleen Krager, the project “is scheduled to begin in 2016 and probably finish in 2017.”
       The $10.45 million in funding will come from Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) funds.
       The four-lane road with a center median will extend from Fillmore Street on the north to the Fontanero/I-25 interchange on the south. Two segments have been completed so far - about a quarter-mile south of Fillmore and, after a 550-foot gap, another quarter mile south to Van Buren Street (which is not open to traffic).
       As explained by Krager, the RTA work will fill in that gap and build the remaining half-mile to Fontanero.
       The result, she said, should be significant traffic relief to Fillmore, as well as to Chestnut Street (a two-lane north-south frontage road just west of I-25 that passes through mostly residential areas).
       “That project [the extension] and a new Fillmore/I-25 interchange [due to start construction this March] will make a huge difference in that area,” she summed up.
       Thanks to the current, nearly completed RTA project at Fillmore, which in the past year has realigned Chestnut Street west of the I-25 ramps, “we're already seeing improvements at the interchange,” Krager said.
       Before the voters' RTA renewal, the city had been waiting on a project cost-sharing agreement from a developer whose 47-acre parcel straddles the extension route. Such an agreement is still needed, but having the RTA funds allows the project to move forward without it, Krager said.
       In the 10-year continuation of the RTA that voters approved in 2012 (and which will take effect in January 2015), the Centennial extension is on the A-list.
       Identified as a need more than 20 years ago, the extension was a “C” item in the original RTA, which voters approved in 2004. Only “A” items have turned out to be affordable from that list.
       According to previous city information, the extension moved up the list as a result of other projects being built and increased development in the area of Fillmore and Centennial.

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