COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Workers have started a two-year project to rebuild 1.3 miles of Pikes Peak Avenue in Colorado Springs, considered one of the city's three worst road sections.
Officials said although the $17 million project officially starts this week, visible signs of construction won't appear until early October.
"We've asked the contractor to keep one lane open in each direction during the project," said Ryan Phipps, city engineer and project manager.
The project covers the avenue between Shooks Run and Printers Parkway, going past Memorial Park east of downtown.
The project will be in four phases, including the installation of a storm drain, installation of water and wastewater lines, rebuilding and repaving the avenue and upgrading curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
The project area is known by drivers for potholes and bumpy driving that cause vehicle damage.
Richard Doucette lives along the avenue and said he doesn't mind being near a work zone for two years.
The asphalt is so degraded, it kicks up a black dust," he said. "It's everywhere. It's bad. And I'm still repairing my truck from hitting a pothole."Such extensive repair projects can have negative impacts on businesses but Tracy Anderson, owner of Nemo's Cafe, isn't worried.
"My business will thrive," she said. "I'm more concerned with how the community is affected. We really need this project to be done."
A public meeting on the project was held Tuesday evening at the Immanuel Lutheran Church gymnasium, 828 East Pikes Peak Ave.
Phipps said the project will not affect Saturday's annual Fallen Firefighters Memorial ceremony at nearby Memorial Park.
The avenue is one of three city roads that have deteriorated beyond the need for normal repaving and require a complete rebuild. Work is nearly completed on a stretch of Centennial Boulevard, and work on a section of South Academy Boulevard begins after the Pikes Peak Avenue project.
Sales tax revenue from the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority is financing the three rebuild projects.