Not All Happy About Fillmore Interchange Improvements

Business, Homeowners Upset About Changes To Fillmore and Chestnut Streets

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Ruth Wagner looks out her front door off Parker Street and sees a neighborhood that has history. She said many of those who live there have owned the homes since they were built in late 1970s and now those homes are going away. Her home isn't and that's why she is upset.

"Once this is built, there will be no way for us to get out of here," said Wagner, talking about what Fillmore Street and Chestnut will look like under a new proposed plan by the city.

She's upset with the proposed plan to reroute Chestnut Street west, right next to her home. "Hear the noise now? Imagine what it's going to be like," she said.

Those aren't her only concerns; her only access to her home would be what the city is calling a "flag lot" a small road that would lead up to her home from a cul-de-sac. . "We'll be able to come through the cul-de-sac to our home, but to exit, to get to my home off the street we will have to back-up down the street to get into the cul-de-sac to turn around," Wagner said.

She isn't alone; her next-door neighbor would have to do the same thing.

Wagner isn't the only one who voiced her concerns at a meeting Tuesday night at Coronado High School.

The owner of the Waffle House on Fillmore Street wonders how his customers will get into his parking lot. Others were concerned about the new stop light on steep Fillmore Hill near Sage Street.

"This is an alternative we're looking at. We're trying to work out all the bugs and fatal flaws," says Mike Chaves, interim city engineer.

He says the plan is in the proposal stages and the point of the meetings is to get input from business and homeowners in the area.

Chaves says a study showed the bottleneck issues at the six-point interchanges wasn't Fillmore Street, but Chestnut and by moving the road west the city would be able to fix the heavily congested intersection.

He wants to work with all those affected and says projects like this take time. "This is just a concept at this time and all the details needs to be worked out."

Chaves says the goal is to make sure everyone is satisfied.

Wagner worries her home value will go down and wants the city to buy her home. "Who would want to buy this home afterwards? They would take one look and that would be it," she said.

The city plans to have a final plan in place by June and construction would begin a couple months afterwards.

The $6.6 million project was approved by voters 2004 under a 1-cent sales tax.

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