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Meridian Road expansion update

Expansion of the Falcon population and commercial industry necessitates expansion of area roads.Two separate projects for Meridian Road are currently in the works, while Marksheffel Road also is scheduled to undergo a transformation.Plans for the extension of Meridian Road – extending south of Woodmen – began a few years ago, but are “driven by the Falcon Highlands development project,” said Paul Danley, engineering division manager of El Paso County Development Services Department. Danley said the road is a joint project between El Paso County and the Falcon Highlands subdivision. “I expect we will see the plans approved within the next year,” he said. “The project could be done in phases.”The current plans are designed with Meridian Road extending south of the Woodmen and Meridian roads intersection. The road will curve west to meet the Falcon Highlands development, then curve east crossing Highway 24 where it will tie into the existing Meridian Road, just north of Falcon Highway. The road will have up to six lanes with a median, Danley said.Also scheduled is the expansion of Northbound Meridian Road between Woodmen Road and Londonderry Drive. It is a separate project from the Meridian Road south construction. The Meridian Service Metropolitan District will fund the project. MSMD District Manager, Wayne Monson, said El Paso County required the Meridian Ranch developers to accommodate the growth the subdivision would bring as part of the zoning agreement. “Meridian Service Metropolitan District provides infrastructure for the Meridian Ranch development,” he said.The plans have been approved by El Paso County and are currently out to bid, said Monson. The district hopes to have a contract within the next few weeks, with construction starting this summer. The plans include adding two lanes east of the existing two-lane road. The new lanes would accommodate northbound traffic while the existing lanes would accommodate southbound traffic. According to Monson, the project is expected to take a few months.Improvements on Marksheffel Road west of Highway 24 and south of Constitution Avenue are also planned. “We have received bids and are in the negotiation portion with a contractor,” said Project Manager Jim Sanders, of Matrix Design Group. He said the project should start in a couple weeks because, “Marksheffel can’t close until Constitution reopens.” Constitution Avenue has been closed for repaving.The plans for Marksheffel Road include turning the two-lane highway into four lanes, which will include a curb and gutter system for drainage, shoulders, and left and right turn lanes. Two bridges will also span Sand Creek. “A significant bridge structure will be added. The bridges will be side-by-side and span 280 feet each,” said Sanders, “The bridges will accommodate the current trail system next to the stream.” The Colorado Department of Transportation and El Paso County will fund the project. Sanders predicts the construction will take about a year.Andre Brackin, El Paso County project management engineering supervisor, said Marksheffel will eventually extend farther north and south linking north Black Forest Road to Peterson Air Force Base. Brackin expects that project to begin in a few years.

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