By Ken Carter
The ongoing road construction project impacting traffic flow from the Academy’s South Gate to Pine Drive, officials say, is on schedule for completion by July 28. With reduced speed limits and even stopped vehicles, traffic can be heavy at times. Officials advise drivers to allow for additional travel time or to consider using the North Gate, especially during rush hours.
According to Air Force Academy Construction Manager Scott Bowshot, the ongoing $3.5 million paving project started May 29 and has included several unexpected issues such as expansive soil, deteriorated inlet structures and curbing.
“The issues we’ve faced, however, were nothing Civil Engineering could not resolve and we continue to remain on schedule,” he said.
The 93,000 square yards of asphalt required to pave this stretch of roadway and the Thunderbird Overlook parking area involves many workers and a great deal of heavy equipment along the route requiring Academy motorists to slow and use extra caution for everyone’s safety.
“The only complaint we’ve heard so far is that some drivers have expressed that 25 m.p.h. is too slow,” Mr. Bowshot said. “However, we cannot raise the speed limit to 35 m.p.h. because of the changeovers at the bridge and the South Gate require speeds of 25 m.p.h. or less.” The intersection of Airfield Drive and South Gate Boulevard also requires a 25 m.p.h. restriction.
Mr. Bowshot reminds all to watch for and obey all traffic warning signs, flagmen, and reduce speeds throughout the construction zone.
The increased added value of a higher state of safety awareness and the final outcome will be worth the inconvenience of slower travel in the long run.
“This project will improve the quality of life and increase driver satisfaction for Academy personnel and visitors alike,” Mr. Bowshot said. “The new pavement will reduce wear and tear on vehicles.”
Future pavement projects include: North Gate Boulevard, the athletic fields’ roads, Pine Drive, and several roads within the cadet area. Major repairs are ongoing to facilities within the cadet area and basewide utilities all of which are connected to the “Fix USAFA” program, which is focused on repairing infrastructure that’s a half century old.
For more information, call Scott Bowshot at 333-8397.