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City roadwork to close 21st from avenue to highway for 6 to 8 weeks


A city concrete contractor works at the southeast corner of 21st Street and Lower Gold Camp Road as part of 21st's reconstruction that's continuing through June between there and Argus Boulevard.
Westside Pioneer photo
       21st Street between Colorado Avenue and Highway 24 will close for six to eight weeks this summer for a reconstruction project, according to Colorado Springs Engineering.
       The shutdown is needed to speed up the work, according to Ryan Phipps, the city's project manager, and consultant Alex Pellegrino of AECOM.
       Still to be determined is when the closure will actually occur. The project as a whole is scheduled between mid-June and October; however, the scope of work requires a full shutdown sometime between July 1 and Sept. 30, Phipps clarified.
       He agreed that a full closure at any time would negatively affect Old Colorado City, although the goal is to work around the event season as much as possible. In any case, “we will put out press releases that say Old Colorado City is open for business,” Phipps pledged.
       The only other option would have been a partial closure. However, that would be less efficient, the engineers said, doubling the project period and possibly preventing completion this year.
       They did not dispute that traffic can be heavy along that part of 21st, particularly during rush hour, but expressed confidence that motorists would find alternate routes.
       Part of the reason for a two-month closure is the time required for bridge maintenance, including a waterproof membrane on the driving surface, Pellegrino explained.
       As previously outlined in the Westside Pioneer, the initial schedule on 21st calls for a Colorado Springs Utilities water-main replacement, starting in early May.
       The city reconstruction project, funded mostly with 2C road-tax dollars, is expected to start after Utilities is done, probably in mid-June. Final paving is anticipated in October, Phipps said.
       Other work will involve concrete work, drainage upgrades and sidewalk infill. In a nonmotorized element, a “multi-use path” will be built between the 21st Street Midland Trail terminus and Highway 24, plans show.
       On the northwest corner of the highway and 21st, project drawings show another segment of the new path. It will cut in front of the grassy knoll with the Prospector statue and connect to Naegele Road.
       In a recently announced amenity, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) plans an add-on project after the city is done. It had previously been talked about, but not confirmed. It will construct pedestrian islands at the 21st Street crossing on the north side of Highway 24 and lengthen the southbound right-turn lane for 21st. The latter work should help traffic flow, according to Chris Jennings of Jacobs Engineering (a CDOT design contractor).
       Elsewhere on 21st… Concrete upgrades occurred in early March along 21st between Lower Gold Camp Road and Argus Boulevard. Colorado Springs Utilities then went in with a water-main replacement into early May, which is being followed by 2C pavement reconstruction.
       Because that part of 21st Street is predicted to be a major access for people going to the Broadmoor's Senior Open Golf tournament June 28 to July 1, the government plan is to have it fully paved beforehand, according to Natalie Eckhart of Utilities.

Westside Pioneer article