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Falcon Park-n-Ride plans in progress

After almost a decade of waiting to secure funding, the plans to construct a Falcon Park-n-Ride are moving forward. The facility will be located at the intersection of New Meridian Road and Old Meridian Road.Andre Brackin, El Paso County engineer, said the projectís environmental assessment was conducted in 2005-2006, but further development has been hindered by a lack of funding. ìWe got federal aid money administered through the Colorado Department of Transportation and also some congestion mitigation funds,î Brackin said. ìMost of the project is funded through the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority.îThe PPRTA, established in November 2004, brought together the cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, El Paso County and the town of Green Mountain Falls to collectively address the issue of traffic congestion; resulting from the areaís rapid population growth.The Park-n-Ride will include an area for people to park their vehicles for the day, along with covered waiting areas for riders, similar to those at bus stops, Brackin said. Access roads into and out of the facility are also necessary, he said.ìWe identified the need for the Park-n-Ride, but there were a lot of other transportation improvements needed,î Brackin said. The additional improvements include a new traffic signal just west of the existing signal, near the Diamond Shamrock building, he said. That intersection will become a four-lane intersection in all directions, but Meridian Road will transition back to a two-lane road near Falcon Highway, Brackin said.The bridge on Highway 24, just east of the intersection, will also need to be widened, which requires relocating utilities, Brackin said. ìItís a typical highway project,î he said. ìThe more you look at it, the more stuff you find that needs to be addressed.îConstruction on the Park-n-Ride project is unlikely to start until the latter part of 2016, Brackin said.

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