Black Forest Road Corridor Widening Plan

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About

The area of Colorado Springs along the three miles of Black Forest Road between Woodmen and Old Ranch roads has experienced considerable growth over the past several years, with continued growth projected. Much of the area, as well as the arterial connections to Black Forest Road (Research Parkway/Marksheffel Road and Briargate Parkway/Stapleton Road),  is projected to be developed within the next five to ten years. Several large developments have already been constructed in this area. A cohesive plan is needed for future improvements or widening in this portion of Black Forest Road. The existing and proposed development requires more capacity on this section of Black Forest Road than the current two-lane section provides.

Black Forest Road is classified as a Principal Arterial to serve as the primary corridor for travel in the area between Woodmen and Old Ranch roads. Because development continues rapidly, the City of Colorado Springs has initiated a Corridor Widening Study establish an implementation plan to meet current and future capacity needs. It will enable the City to move forward with future project design phases as funding become available for needed improvements and widening of the three-mile segment of Black Forest Road.

The implementation plan will determine:

  • Near-term construction limits and phasing of construction improvements
  • The required number of travel lanes
  • Water quality and detention to mitigate flooding
  • Erosion mitigation of Cottonwood Creek in the project area and the channel south of Research Parkway
  • Replacement of the Cottonwood Creek Bridge
  • ADA compliance and multimodalIncluding more than one mode of transportation. For example, a facility that accommodates lanes for motorized vehicles, bike lanes, sidewalks, and transit stops. accommodations

The project largely is within the City of Colorado Springs with a portion in El Paso County. There have been ongoing discussions between the City and El Paso County to transfer county ownership of Black Forest Road from Wooden Road to Old Ranch Road to the City.  Currently, the City of Colorado Springs has jurisdiction along Black Forest Road primarily south of Research Parkway, with the exception of the west side of Black Forest Road from Vollmer to Cowpoke roads. El Paso County has jurisdiction along with the remainder of Black Forest Road.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What short-term plans is the City considering to address traffic backups along Black Forest Road occurring from the stop signs at Cowpoke Road and Research Parkway?

Answer: The City recognizes there is a traffic congestion on Black Forest Road north of Woodmen Road and is working on the best approach to address it. We have had meetings with the school districts regarding existing and planned new schools and with developers regarding their residential development plans.  In the short-term, the City's Traffic Engineer and his team are actively looking at ways they can alleviate some of the congestion at Cowpoke Road. The safety of the public is equally important in evaluating any potential changes to the intersections. 

We anticipate the installation of a temporary traffic signal to be completed by early 2020. For an update on short term plans, send an email inquiry to city.engineering@coloradosprings.gov.

Question: What long-term plan is the City considering to address overall traffic congestion along Black Forest Road in the surrounding area?

Answer:  Continued growth in new residential neighborhoods and schools has resulted in traffic increases along Black Forest Road as well as on the surrounding roadway system. Adding traffic signals only to the current two-lane section does not provide a significant reduction in congestion unless other roadway improvements are included with the signals. In addition, conflicts with several existing utilities in these locations have been identified and need to be resolved.

Therefore, in addition to short-term improvements at Cowpoke Road, the City is also working on a long-term plan for future improvements including widening of Black Forest Road between Woodmen and Old Ranch roads.  A draft of the study for long-term corridor improvements is expected to be finished late 2019. We will be reaching out to the community seeking public comment during a public meeting in early 2020.  

Funding 

Improvements of Black Forest Road (Woodmen Road to Research Parkway) has funding through the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority II (PPRTA) as an “A” list project.  Additional City of Colorado Springs and El Paso County funding for construction is possible.

  • Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority II (PPRTA II) identifies an “A List” project to widen Black Forest Road to a four-lane Principal Arterial from Woodmen Road to Research Parkway, including a new bridge over Cottonwood Creek.
  • PPRTA II identifies a “B List” project to widen Black Forest Road to a four-lane Principal Arterial from Research Parkway to Old Ranch Road.

Schedule

  • Corridor Widening Study Phase – May through December 2019
  • Preliminary Design – Spring 2020
  • Final Design and Plans – Summer – Fall 2020
  • Construction – 2021-2022

Contacts

City of Colorado Springs:

Clyde Pikkaraine, P.E., Senior Project Manager
Ph:  719-385-5464

Clyde.Pikkaraine@coloradosprings.gov

Skyler Leonard, City Communications

Ph: 719-385-5720

Consultant Team:

Jason Bonini, AECOM Consultant Project Manager
Ph: 719-235-2901

Jason.bonini@aecom.com

Lisa Bachman, APR, Public/Stakeholder Involvement
Ph: 719-488-5908

Lisa@lisabachmanpr.com

Public Meetings

Public meetings for the project will be scheduled in late 2019/early 2020 and posted here

Meeting documents will also be available here at that time.