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Engineering

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Dept Head: Chad Crager

Vine / Lemay / BNSF Intersection Improvements

Background

Background

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Lemay Avenue realignment and intersection improvements have been prioritized as the City's No. 1 Transportation Capital Improvement Project. The improvements will construct a new road and intersection slightly east of the existing Vine and Lemay intersection. The City has utilized an extensive planning process to arrive at an ultimate solution that includes a new bridge over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railway and existing Vine Drive.

The existing Vine and Lemay intersection, which includes the BNSF Railway crossing, is severely congested with limited options to expand through or turn capacity due to land use constraints. The City is currently taking steps to determine the best plan to appropriately serve the project area and increase safety to meet the needs of existing residents and the traveling public; while balancing the growth of vehicle and train traffic. Existing Vine Drive and Lemay Avenue will be changed to local streets upon completion of realigned Lemay Avenue.

Project Goals

The project area is included within the City's land use and economic development plan (Mountain Vista Subarea Plan) which was created as a long-term planning vision for the northeast section of Fort Collins. Improvement of the intersection has become a safety issue for residents, BNSF, emergency services and the public. With this project, our primary goals are:

  • Neighborhood Livability
  • Congestion relief
  • Strong urban design and landscaping
  • Multimodal improvements
  • Safety
  • Coordinate with future development of northeast Fort Collins

One of the fundamental aims of this project is to complete critical transportation improvements that will enhance connectivity for local neighborhoods. Residents of both the Alta Vista and Andersonville neighborhoods (located at the Vine/Lemay intersection) suffer from the constraints of severe congestion on a daily basis. This limits connectivity to employment, schools, goods and services.  This project will help facilitate the development of new housing and employment opportunity in a priority infill area near downtown Fort Collins. In recent years, this area has become the focus of increased economic activity. Safe and efficient connections are necessary to sustain the transportation network. 

A primary emphasis of this project is to foster a safe, connected, resilient and accessible system for all modes of travel. This project is a critical part of the City's Enhanced Travel Corridor network, which is intended to provide a system of multi-modal corridor connections between key activity centers, access to high frequency transit service, and bicycle and pedestrian facilities.  The existing Vine/Lemay intersection, which includes the BNSF Railway crossing is severely congested. Construction of the improvements will help alleviate congestion along existing roadways and the BNSF rail corridor.

Current Funding

The City is currently looking for ways to fully fund the project. The total project budget is approximately $22M - $24M, of which $10M has been identified to come from the City’s Transportation Capital Expansion Fee (TCEF) program. Through previous budget processes, the City has also appropriated and spent approximately $3M on preliminary design, right-of-way acquisitions, construction of dirt embankment, public outreach, and various other tasks. City Staff will be going to Council Finance Committee this spring to discuss appropriating the remaining TCEF money ($8.6M) in the summer of 2019 to continue to move the project forward while determining how to fund the remaining project budget. 

Schedule

The City is currently at a 50% design level with the plan set and has secured a large portion of the right-of-way required. In the spring, the City is planning to move forward with the design and right-of-way acquisition phase and secure the needed right-of-way for the entire project. 

Construction of the dirt embankment areas is continuing this spring, and the City will utilize future opportunities to partner on dirt sources. It is anticipated that the construction will be complete by the end of 2021, pending final funding.

Contact

Dan Woodward | Project Manager – Civil Engineer II | 970-416-4203 | ZHdvb2R3YXJkQGZjZ292LmNvbQ== | Fort Collins, Colorado USA