Projects

South Academy Boulevard Efficiency and Resiliency Improvements

Academy Blvd map

Academy Boulevard is a key arterial road running north to south for approximately 15 miles through the entirety of Colorado Springs. The project area of South Academy Boulevard comprises the southern mile and a half of this arterial road from the I-25 interchange, crossing CO 85/ 87, and continuing to the road’s approach to Milton Proby Parkway (which connects to CO 21).

A key corridor for commuters and inter-regional travel, as well as critical defense access and haul route for military personnel and equipment travelling between Peterson Air Force Base and Fort Carson, South Academy Boulevard has an Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) count of approximately 57,500 and is characterized by recurring congestion during peak hours. This road segment is a key element in the transportation corridor providing access from the east to the State
Highway systems (I-25, CO 21, US 24, and CO 115), Pikes Peak Community College, Colorado Springs Airport, and Fort Carson. The project provides access to six of Fort Carson’s entrances, Gates 1-6. South Academy Boulevard provides the direct and primary access to Gates 3 and 4, through which approximately 30 percent of all of Fort Carson’s traffic enters. More than 50 percent of all westbound traffic on South Academy Boulevard during peak hours is accessing or leaving Fort Carson. South Academy Boulevard is on the Pikes Peak Area Council of Government’s Congestion Mitigation Plan as both a Strategic Corridor and a Regional Corridor, and it is located on the National Highway System.

The work along this corridor includes:

  • Widening South Academy Boulevard along this mile and a half stretch,
  • Widening and scour protection to improve the resilience of bridges crossing Fountain Creek,
  • Noise abatement treatments, and
  • Various other infrastructure work resulting in three dedicated lanes of traffic in each direction along this section of the corridor.

Road Widening and Overlay

South Academy Boulevard will be widened from its current configuration of two lanes in each direction to three lanes in each direction. The widening will be from just west of South Academy Boulevard’s interchange with I-25 to just south of the Milton E. Proby Parkway. Both the inside and outside shoulders will also be widened to ten feet in both directions along this alignment of South Academy Boulevard. Lastly, a mill and overlay will be applied at a 5” depth on the roadway and 2” depth on the bridges. Sound walls along South Academy Boulevard are anticipated between the Hartford Street overpass and the approach to the bridges crossing Fountain Creek.

Bridge Scour WorkBridge Scour Work

The two bridges along South Academy Boulevard which cross Fountain Creek and are located approximately one-half mile southwest of the junction CO 85. The Fountain Creek Regional Trail which runs under theses bridges is part of the larger Front Range Trail system proposed to stretch from Wyoming to New Mexico. Fountain Creek Regional Trail is one of the most used bike and pedestrian trails in El Paso County.

Work to address these critical bridges includes repair of foundations, and installation of riprap at all piers and abutments of the bridge to mitigate further scour of the Fountain Creek channel. These repairs will improve the bridges’ scour rating and improve resiliency, ensuring there will be no movement or settlement of the bridge during major storm events, thereby mitigating the need to close the bridge for inspection and avoiding delays associated with an unplanned closure.


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