Colorado

Apr 3, 2014 1:30 AM by Zach Thaxton

Union intersection to get innovative makeover in next phase of Woodmen expansion

The intersection of Woodmen Road and Union Boulevard in Colorado Springs will get an innovative reconfiguration as part of the next phase of the Woodmen Road Corridor Improvement Project.

Project leaders unveiled details of the construction Wednesday night at an open house held at Jenkins Middle School.  The $20 to $25 million project is slated to begin in the summer of 2015 and finish 18 to 24 months later, according to project manager Scott Barnhart.

The project will expand Woodmen Road, the city's busiest east-west roadway, to three lanes in each direction in the only remaining segment of the roadway between I-25 and Powers Boulevard which has not already been expanded -- from adjacent to Sam's Club to the west to the intersection with Lexington Drive to the east.  New bike lanes, sidewalks, landscaping, medians, lighting, and drainage will also be installed.

The cornerstone of the project will be a reconfigured intersection with Union Boulevard, which is plagued with severe and lengthy rush-hour traffic jams.  The intersection will become a "Continuous Flow Intersection."  Two lanes of left-turning traffic from Woodmen onto Union will go across oncoming lanes and then run on the opposite side of the roadway before making the left-hand turn onto Union Boulevard.  CLICK HERE to see a video demonstrating how the Continuous Flow Intersection will work.  There is currently only one other Continuous Flow Intersection in Colorado, in Loveland. It's a radically different and significantly less-expensive design than original proposals for an overpass-underpass interchange, similar to the bridges installed at Woodmen Road and North Academy Boulevard and Union Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway in recent years.  "We think that might need to be considered in 2040 or 2050, but right now there's no funding identified for it and we don't see the need for it," Barnhart said.

Barnhart says the project is being paid for by a combination of the voter-approved one-cent sales tax which funds the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA), matching funds from the City of Colorado Springs, and Federal dollars.  

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