Black Forest road improvements finally underway


Before the fire and the floods, the people of Black Forest's top local concern was probably the condition of their roads.

You see, Black Forest has grown a lot over the years — to fully understand this, check out our cool maps — but its roads haven't followed suit. Many are still unpaved and lack lights, which can lead to a lot of confusion, hassle, and some dangerous accidents. Because of this, the El Paso County commissioners agreed to pay for some road improvements in the area — just in time for our own mini apocalypse.

As it turns out, all of this flooding, which is worsened by the blackened hillsides, isn't conducive to road work. The good news: The weather is finally allowing improvements to be made. Read on:

Weather Finally Cooperates for Black Forest Road Projects Delayed by Fire and Floods

El Paso County, CO., October 7, 2013 – The catastrophic Black Forest Fire and post-fire flooding have caused significant delays in the schedule of several important transportation improvement projects in the Black Forest area northeast of Colorado Springs. County Engineer Andre Brackin says contractors are hoping for good fall weather to wrap up several of these major construction projects. “Several projects are behind schedule because of the fire and floods and we really appreciate the ongoing patience of motorists through these delays,” he said.

Contractors continue paving operations at the Black Forest and Burgess Road intersection. The final installation of traffic signals will complete the required safety improvements at that location. The intersection is part of a 3.65 mile section of Black Forest Road where surface improvements are being made. “A two-inch overlay is needed to extend the life of the road,” Brackin said.

Drivers are typically experiencing 15 minute delays during peak driving times through this area of Black Forest but, weather permitting, contractors are expected to complete most of the remaining work on the intersection and the overlay in October allowing for the return of normal traffic flow.

When finished, the new Black Forest at Burgess Road intersection will be much safer for traffic needs. Safety improvements were necessitated by the number of turn movements in all directions through the intersection. They include upgraded signal operation, better lighting, signing and striping that is more visible day and night, safer clearances for pedestrians and those on bicycles and upgrades to drainage. Electric lines and above ground natural gas transmission facilities have also been moved to reduce crash hazards.

Safety improvements are also in focus for the construction on Hodgen Road which will be closed to traffic from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting Monday, October 7 and continuing through Friday, October 11 between Meridian Road and Northcliff Road.

The project includes rebuilding the road, realignment, paving the shoulders, and intersection and drainage improvements. A hill near the Meridian and Hodgen intersection will be lowered to improve lines of sight. The flashing signal will be removed and left turn lanes will be added. Construction on Hodgen Road is expected to continue later into the fall.

Funding for these projects is provided through the voter approved Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA).

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