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Delays push WAAP over budget

Posted at 6:13 PM, Aug 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 11:16:56-04

EL PASO COUNTY – The Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) is running long and over budget. It is the construction project in the space between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs formerly known as “No-man’s land.”

Delays push the completion deadline beyond the end of 2018. Extra costs could hike the budget from $30 million to over $35 million.

With large projects like this, it is typical to pad timelines and budgets to counter unexpected issues and weather delays. One of the largest time killers has been negotiations to acquire private property taking far longer than planned. Then anticipated issues and weather delays on this project have been well beyond typical.

“We’ve run into the tires. We’ve run into railroad ties. We’ve run into giant boulders. Then, of course, the weather. We had flooding last year and over the past couple of weeks, we’ve had even more flooding,” said El Paso County Spokesman, Greg Dingrando.

Crews are putting in extra hours and some weekend days to make up time. “The goal is still to have the majority, the main portions of this project done by December of 2018 which was the original goal,” said Dingrando.

Crews will focus on getting lanes open to drivers by the end of the year. Work on things like creek restoration and landscaping will happen into 2019.