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College & Prospect Intersection Updates


College and Prospect Intersection Improvements

Attention: Construction schedule update. The westbound closure, west of College Avenue has been shifted by a week. This portion of the road will be closed March 27th – May 1st. The project is still on schedule and will be complete in July.

Construction

What to expect:

The City will begin construction on February 13th, 2017. There will be 3 major phases of construction which include roadway closures. These closures are listed below and detailed in the graphics:

  • Phase 1A – Feb 13th through March 10th – Remington Street intersection with Prospect Road CLOSED
  • Phase 1B – Feb 13th through March 19th – East leg of intersection CLOSED – Prospect Road, eastbound and westbound, from College Avenue to Remington Street
  • Phase 2 – March 27th through May 1st – Westbound Prospect Road CLOSED – Remington Street to railroad tracks west of College Avenue

From mid-April through early July there will be daily lane closures to complete construction. The public should allow for extra travel time through and around this intersection from February through July of 2017. The major detour routes will be posted along Drake, Mulberry, Riverside and Lemay and are detailed in the graphic.

What we are working on:

  • Coordination with other City project as well as CSU projects for detour routes and closures
  • Messaging impacts to the traveling public as well as the directly affected businesses and neighborhoods
  • Deterring neighborhood cut-through traffic
  • Managing signal timing and congestion along detour routes
  • Public outreach and communications before and during construction
  • Completion of project by July 2016

Major improvements with project:

  • Addition of dual left turn lanes from Prospect Road to College Avenue
  • Free right turn lanes on eastbound, westbound and southbound legs of intersection, including pedestrian refuge islands
  • Sidewalk, crossing and landscaping improvements, including landscaped medians
  • Upgraded signals and signal system
  • Underground storm sewer improvements in accordance with the Stormwater Master Plan

Background

In 2011, the City’s Engineering Department completed an Arterial Intersection Prioritization Study which listed the intersection of College Avenue (SH 287) and Prospect Road as one of the top-ranked locations for needed safety and operational improvements.  The Study analyzed over 160 arterial intersections citywide.  Intersections were prioritized for improvement based upon:  accident rates (safety), vehicle delay (congestion), alternative travel modes (biking, walking and transit) and benefit-cost ratios.

Investigation into the College and Prospect intersection shows:  higher than average vehicle accident rates, significant congestion in the peak travel hours, substandard bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and insufficient turn lanes.

Current traffic counts show that the Average Daily Traffic (ADT) is 69,000 vehicles per day passing through the intersection, one of the busiest areas in all of Fort Collins.  The last time improvements were made to this intersection was in 1995.

Opportunities for Partnering

This project is a significant partnering effort between 4 major entities: City Engineering Department, City Utilities Department, City Streets Department and Colorado State University. One of the primary goals during construction is to reduce the overall impact to the public. All of the improvements will be managed and coordinated as one combined project, including the improvements that are funded and constructed by CSU. This will reduce the overall construction time by approximately 2 months, as well as have significant cost savings.

Colorado State University (CSU) is developing the northwest corner of this intersection as the home of their new Medical Center Complex. The Medical Center project will construct improvements along Prospect Road (between the Mason Trail and College Avenue) and along College Avenue (between Prospect Road and Lake Street). The project will also install a landscaped median along Prospect as an additional safety and congestion benefit. These improvements will be funded, designed and constructed by Colorado State.

As part of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the City and Colorado State, CSU will also fund and construct a second eastbound to northbound left turn lane at the intersection.

The Medical Center project presented an opportunity for the City to address other existing deficiencies at this intersection. City Council recently approved a mid-budget offer for the design and construction of additional turn lane improvements, beyond Colorado State's obligations. The City and CSU will work collaboratively on these improvements, with each entity funding their own design and construction costs. This collaborative approach will allow us to build the improvements at the same time, making construction more efficient and reducing the impact to travelers and nearby businesses.

The City's Engineering Department has also partnered with the City Utilities Department and City Streets Department to upgrade their facilities in the area. Working in the intersection will allow the existing storm sewer system to be upgraded to meet the current Stormwater Master Plan, including replacing the old system with 36” and 48” reinforced concrete pipe in Prospect Road and Remington Street. This will help prevent future flooding that the intersection currently sees during rainfall events and will allow the Utilities Department to upgrade the entire Remington outfall into Spring Creek in the coming years.

Partnering with the City Streets Department has allowed the opportunity to replace much of the intersection with concrete instead of asphalt, particularly on the east leg of the intersection. This will involve a total reconstruct of the east leg providing for a better roadway, which means less maintenance costs and impacts in the future. The project is also being coordinated with the ongoing maintenance paving along Prospect Road from Shields Street to Interstate 25.

The Medical Center project presented an opportunity for the City to address other existing deficiencies at this intersection.  City Council recently approved a mid-budget offer for the design and construction of additional turn lane improvements, beyond Colorado State’s obligations.  The City and CSU will work collaboratively on these improvements, with each entity funding their own design and construction costs.  This collaborative approach will allow us to build the improvements at the same time, making construction more efficient and reducing the impact to travelers and nearby businesses.

View the CSU Medical Center Map

Design and Construction Timeline

Preliminary Design January – April, 2016
Right-of-Way Negotiations April, 2016 – January, 2017
Final Design May – December, 2016
Construction February – July, 2017

Project Goals

The West Central Area Plan was adopted by City Council in March, 2015.  This Plan provides the framework for the short-term and long-term vision for the Prospect Road corridor between Shields Street and College Avenue, and will serve as the outline for the upcoming enhancements to the College and Prospect intersection. 
With this project our goals are to:

  • Improve Safety by:
    • Constructing and modifying medians on Prospect between the Mason Trail and Remington Street
    • Lengthening the right turn lane for eastbound Prospect to southbound College
    • Adding pork chops (pedestrian refuge islands) at the most feasible locations, which will make pedestrians more visible to drivers and shorten the pedestrian crossing distance
    • Installing a multi-use path for bicycles and pedestrians  on the north side of Prospect from the Mason Trail to College Ave.
  • Reduce Congestion and Improve Air Quality by:
    • Constructing new eastbound and westbound dual left turn lanes
    • Optimizing the signal timing with the turn lane modifications
    • Reducing vehicle wait time (idling) at the intersection
  • Plan for the Long-Term Vision by:
    • Designing and building current improvements that will allow for “stand alone” future enhancements as properties redevelop within the area
    • Taking a phased approach to the long-term improvements such as: additional dedicated right turn lanes, landscaped parkways and detached sidewalks
    • Framing the streetscape and aesthetics at this gateway intersection
  • Minimizing Construction Impacts by:
    • Building both projects on the same timeline (March – July, 2017)
    • Coordinating both designs to reduce the timeline for underground utility upgrades
    • Optimizing the construction phasing

Past Project Funding

The total project budget is approximately $5M including contributions from CSU, City Departments and Council approved funding. This includes the cost of design, right-of-way, and construction of this project.

Other Resources

Contact

Dan Woodward | Project Manager | 970-416-4203 | ZHdvb2R3YXJkQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==