The recent severe blizzard will delay the completion of repair work on a pair of bumpy railroad crossings in the Security-Widefield area until May. The El Paso County Department of Public Works is collaborating with BNSF Railway to fix the crossings in response to citizen requests.
This week, crews are putting the finishing touches on the crossing at Fontaine Boulevard just east of Colorado Highway 85/87. However, work at the Main Street crossing, which was scheduled to immediately follow the work on Fontaine, will be delayed until May. Previously, it was announced the entire project would likely be completed by March 15. Last week’s blizzard that left the region paralyzed for two days combined with scheduling challenges has pushed the restart of the work to May.
The tracks as well as the ties and surrounding pavement have worn out from years of heavy use, causing slowdowns at Main Street and Fontaine Boulevard. The work is mending the tracks that have sunk and shifted because of Colorado weather and heavy vehicle traffic. According to BNSF, these crossings are by far the busiest in southern Colorado.
When the project resumes at the Main Street crossing, drivers will be rerouted to multiple detours. Vehicles will be able to use detours on Fontaine, Academy Boulevard to the north and Mesa Ridge Parkway to the south.
BNSF will tear out the asphalt and concrete surrounding the Main Street tracks, remove and replace the track and railroad ties and install the crossing back to its original elevation. El Paso County Road and Bridge crews will take over after BNSF finishes its work. The County crews will repave the road, install sidewalk, curbs and gutter, and mark and stripe the pavement. The County is also performing traffic control during the entire project.
The project is funded with money from the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) and BNSF.
Colorado is prone to unpredictable weather during the winter and spring months. El Paso County and BNSF will monitor weather leading up to the dates to resume the project. If inclement weather once again impedes the project, the work could be rescheduled again.
El Paso County would like to thank those who brought the bumpy railroad crossings to the attention of the Department of Public Works.
Anyone who notices issues on County roads or in El Paso County Parks can use Citizen Connect to submit a service request and track its progress. Citizen Connect can be accessed by going to https://citizenconnect.elpasoco.com/#/homepage or by downloading the Citizen Connect app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.