Fillmore corridor design updates revealed for Mesa Springs; public meeting Jan. 10

       Local transportation officials gave the Mesa Springs Community Association an advance view Dec. 13 of refinements to the design for major traffic improvements just west of the I-25/Fillmore Street interchange.
       Priced at just under $7.1 million and funded as one of the “A” list RTA projects from the 2004 election, the work is intended to improve traffic flow at the interchange by removing Chestnut Street from what is now a “six-leg” stoplight along with Fillmore and the interstate's on/off ramps. From points north and south of Fillmore, Chestnut will be realigned to curve west, crossing Fillmore (with a stoplight) at what is now the Parker Street intersection. Parker itself will become a cul de sac just south of the new Chestnut.
       Seven houses will need to be removed - five on Parker and two on Chestnut, plans show. Also, CDOT is buying (and planning to remove) the gas stations at the corners of the current Chestnut-Fillmore intersection.
       A public meeting with project exhibits is scheduled Tuesday, Jan. 10 at the El Paso County Citizen's Service Center, 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road.
       Updates not previously released include:
  • Making Fillmore six lanes from the interchange to Sage Street (to aid the flow near the interchange).
  • Shaping a stormwater detention pond where houses and a gas station have been on the west side of Chestnut Street south of Fillmore (meeting a federal requirements for better runoff control and water quality in the Fillmore hill area).
  • Building a new access for the popular Waffle House restaurant at Fillmore and Parker Street (it will come in from the Chestnut reroute west to the current Parker, and owner Richard Bruce said at the meeting he's fine with that).
  • Creating a “hammerhead” design for what will be a cul-de-sac on Parker (part of an attempt to meet the individual needs of two homeowners at the end of the cul de sac).
  • Putting in privacy walls, probably eight feet high, along both sides of the realigned Chestnut south of Fillmore (to lessen the traffic impact near the houses there).
  • Tearing up the segments of Chestnut Street that will be abandoned but otherwise leaving that area open (in case the Colorado Department of Transpor-tation (CDOT) needs the space when it replaces the Fillmore/I-25 interchange sometime in the future).
           After that, depending on input from the meeting, final design will begin (by the project's design contractor, URS Corp.), contractors will be solicited by summer 2012 and construction should begin by fall, according to Lesley Mace, senior project manager for the city's Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (RTA) staff.
           The detention pond attracted some interest at the Mesa Springs Community Association meeting, chiefly because of a potential for unsightliness. Mace said it will be a “shared facility” with CDOT, and landscaping plans will be worked out in the final design. She expanded in an e-mail that “we do envision some level of landscaping to screen the pond. However, we don't want to screen it to the point that we invite opportunities for illegal dumping …etc. We are fortunate that we can incorporate this pond into the grade of the area and will work with the natural features to minimize the impact.”
           Also at the Mesa Springs meeting were Dino Bakkar, a consultant with Nolte Associates whose job includes overseeing RTA projects; Celeste Raine of URS; and Tim Roberts of City Transportation, who had overseen numerous neighborhood meetings in 2010, leading up to the design phase.

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