Over the years, El Paso County (EPC), the City of Colorado Springs (COS) and the CO Department of Transportation (CDOT) have worked together to operate, maintain, plan for and build improvements to US 24 East and connecting roads. While CDOT owns US 24 and other state highways, local jurisdictions own and maintain many of the roads that cross state highways. Partnership is the key to keeping all roads functioning safely together. In recent year, COS, EPC and CDOT have been planning improvements on the eastern segment of US 24 from Powers Boulevard (CO 121) and Ramah Highway.
CDOT completed a US 24 Planning and Environmental Linkages (US 24 PEL) (https://www.codot.gov/projects/archived-project-sites/us-24-pel-study) project to examine conditions and anticipated problem areas along the US 24 corridor in El Paso County, between Powers Boulevard (CO 21) and the Town of Ramah. This study allowed to develop and screen a reasonable range of potential transportation improvements to:
- Reduce congestion;
- Improve operational performance; and
- Enhance safety.
During the study, recommended changes were made to the 2005 US 24 East Access Control Plan (https://www.codot.gov/projects/archived-project-sites/us-24-pel-study/assets/us-24-access-control-plan-2005.pdf). These changes were presented in numerous public meetings and were outlined in the US 24 PEL. Since those public meetings, additional changes are being proposed at Blue Gill Dr., Cottontail Dr. and Judge Orr Rd that would improve safety.
Draft update to the US 24 East ACP Maps would keep the southern Blue Gill Dr. intersection open and allow right in/right out movements sometime in the future and would close the Cottontail Dr. intersection completely to traffic. This change is being considered because Blue Gill is paved and Cottontail at US 24 is gravel. It will be safer to put the traffic on a paved road instead of a gravel road. Cottontail Dr. southeast of Blue Gill Dr. will remain open to traffic. The northern Blue Gill Dr. intersection with US 24 will be closed when Blue Gill Dr. is realigned to connect to Judge Orr for southbound US 24 movements. Additional southbound accesses to US 24 are from Cottontail Dr. south to Falcon Highway then east to US 24 or to Meridian Rd.
CDOT and EPC would phase these changes is a manner that ensures all property owners have access to their property and safe access to US 24. Generally, changing the southern Blue Gill Dr. and Cottontail Dr. would not occur until the northern Blue Gill Dr. is realigned to Judge Orr. Improvements to the Judge Orr intersection are needed to improve safety and ensure better east/west connections. Most changes in the ACP will be made when properties develop/redevelop, if changes to the highway are made, if safety/operational issues are identified, or if funding is obtained for CDOT and/or EPC to make roadway improvements.
We want to hear from you before October 15, 2021. For questions, comments, or feedback, please contact:
Valerie Vigil, CDOT Permits Manager
Victoria Chavez, EPC Principal Transportation Planner