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Construction of the long-awaited $20 million extension of Centennial Boulevard from Fillmore Street to the Interstate 25/Fontanero Street interchange was to begin on Sept. 13.

Years in the planning, the project will span a year or more and provide a four-lane link through what is now mostly open land.

The project includes lighting, landscaping, bike lanes, a pedestrian-activated signal for crossing to the open space, a traffic signal at Chestnut Street and at the I-25 interchange. A trail on the west side will connect neighborhoods to the Legacy Loop Plaza and enable a connection to Downtown.

Portions of the corridor have been built or partially built through past developments and city projects.

The extension of Centennial, which is being built in a landslide-susceptible area, hit a snag in 2019 when Mesa Springs neighbors worried about increased flow of leachate (liquid that’s filtered through waste) leaking downslope from a former landfill. Some neighbors blamed the seepage on  the city’s extension of Centennial to Van Buren Street. A developer was to clean up the site prior to further work on Centennial.

The project has been planned for 30 years, with design being conducted in 2016. The four-lane arterial will ease access to the Veterans Affairs Clinic and surrounding businesses, city officials said in a release.

SEMA Construction is the contractor; AECOM will handle project management for the work, funded with taxes collected by the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority.

 

Senior Reporter

Pam Zubeck is a graduate from Emporia State University. She worked at the Tulsa Tribune before coming to Colorado Springs, where she spent 16 years at the Gazette and in 2009 joined Colorado Publishing House.