The City of Fort Collins and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway will be replacing the railroad tracks in Downtown and converting Mason Street to two-way traffic in July and August. These changes are part of the larger construction of MAX Bus Rapid Transit; its service begins in May 2014. Over the next 18 months five different elements of MAX construction will be taking place in Downtown and along the BNSF railroad tracks.
Railroad Track Replacement
The BNSF Railway is committed to maintaining their tracks in rural and urban environments. The replacement of their tracks on Mason Street is an example of this maintenance. The railroad tracks and surrounding material will be completely replaced July 23-29. There will be no Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains in the area that week. Mason Street will be closed to all traffic and cross traffic from just south of Cherry Street to north of Laurel Street. However, the Laurel Street intersection will close towards the end of the week for its maintenance. Another east west arterial will reopen at that time to allow for at least two or three options to move east and west across Mason.
July 16-22; August:
Pre- and Post Construction Activities
During the week prior to the track replacement, July 16-22, Mason Street will close to traffic from Laurel to Cherry Streets in order for BNSF to deliver the equipment and materials needed for the massive excavation and track replacement work. Sidewalks will remain open on Mason Street and traffic can cross east west except for Myrtle Street and Olive Street.
Following the track replacement, and during most of August, Mason Street will have sections of closures while the City installs curb, gutters and new road striping for two-way traffic. One or two intersections will close at a time but will reopen as soon as possible. Sidewalks will be open on Mason Street.
Construction Timeline and Details July 16-22:
Mason Street closed to traffic while crews prepare for the railroad track replacement, some east west intersections will be closed. Sidewalks will be open.
FULL CLOSURE on Mason Street from south of Cherry Street to north of Laurel Street. 24/7 construction operations. Cherry Street will always be open, Laurel will close mid week for track replacement, but other east west streets will reopen. Sidewalks will be open on Mason Street, but you will not be able to cross the street except at Cherry Street and Laurel Street. No BNSF trains in the city.
FREE Shuttle around the closure (July 23-29):
Watch for signed shuttle stops on Howes Street and College Avenue. The shuttles will stop every 10 minutes and take people around the closure. Monday-Saturday: 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sunday: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Mason Street closed to traffic while crews build curbs and gutters around the new railroad tracks and stripe the road for two-way traffic. Some east west intersections closed, but will reopen as construction moves along the street. Sidewalks will be open.
Final striping and preparation for conversion to two-way traffic will require sections of Mason Street to be closed, watch for lane and intersection closures. Once complete, the road will reopen to two-way traffic and faster train travel on the new railroad tracks.
The traveling public is encouraged to plan extra time to navigate the closures. Businesses are open along Mason and its side streets, use alternate routes to access their parking and entrances. Stay up to date on the latest construction news, road closures and Mason Corridor project details at www.fcgov.com/mason
Other MAX Construction Projects
In addition to converting Mason to two-way operations, MAX construction includes the building of the dedicated guideway on the east side of the BNSF railroad tracks, an expanded maintenance facility at Transfort’s operation center off of Portner Road, a new South Transit Center south of Harmony Road where the Mason Trail head is located, a pedestrian and bicycle underpass at Troutman Road and pedestrian and bicycle overpass behind Whole Foods. More information on these projects can be found on www.fcgov.com/mason
Mason Corridor: A Fort Collins Legacy Project
Mason Corridor is an economic initiative enabled by transit. MAX Bus Rapid transit will link community, lifestyle and business along the five mile corridor with 12 stops and two transit centers. The Mason Corridor combines transit, trails, public infrastructure and private sector redevelopment along the heart of Fort Collins. Crafted by community members, the vision is becoming a reality!