ABOUT THE SHIELDS & ELIZABETH UNDERPASS PROJECT
Community meeting: A community meeting to discuss the underpass will be held from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 7 on campus at Bob Davis Hall in Moby Arena. More information.
Planning & Zoning Board Approval: CSU underwent a voluntary Site Plan Advisory Review (SPAR) process for the Shields & Elizabeth underpass project. The City of Fort Collins Planning and Zoning Board unanimously approved the project on Nov. 10, 2016. More information about the project is available in this Nov. 11 SOURCE story.
Project Need: The city and university have discussed the need for improvements at the Shields Street and Elizabeth Street intersection for many years. Of primary concern is the need to enhance pedestrian and bike safety, and mitigate vehicle congestion. In addition, the area west of this intersection along the Elizabeth corridor will continue to see population growth and residential and business development. It’s estimated that up to 10,000 students live west of campus along this corridor, and it is also the heaviest used corridor by vehicles, cars and pedestrians in the city.
An overpass was considered in initial discussions, but research shows that climbing ramps is a barrier to use for pedestrians and bicyclists. An underpass maximizes the use of the infrastructure, providing a safe passageway for the highest number of users.
Project Funding: The university and city agree that the underpass construction would be funded and managed by Colorado State University.
Construction Timeline: Following the conclusion of the voluntary SPAR process, CSU plans to begin construction in late November/early December 2016 and complete the project in the fall of 2017. It is estimated that the total construction time is approximately nine months and would occur in three phases. The first three-month phase would begin on the east side of Shields Street on CSU property, with the following three-month phase crossing Shields Street. The project would be completed with the third three-month phase at the Campus West Shops. The first and third phase would have minimal impact on Shields Street traffic.
Provide Comments or Ask Questions: You can share your thoughts via a feedback form online at http://source.colostate.edu/we-want-to-hear-from-you/ or contact Jason Holland, Planner with the City of Fort Collins, via email at JHolland@fcgov.com or standard mail at 281 North College Avenue, Fort Collins, 80522. The city’s Planning and Zoning Board reviewed and unanimously approved the proposed design for the underpass in fall 2016.
PREVIOUS NEIGHBORHOOD MEETINGS & OPEN HOUSES
September 14, 2016 Open House
CSU and the City of Fort Collins held a community open house on Wednesday, September 14 at CSU’s Bob Davis Hall to discuss an underpass at the Shields and Elizabeth intersection. More than 3,000 postcards were mailed to business operators and residents from Prospect Rd. to Mulberry St. and Shields St. to Taft Hill Rd. to inform them of the open house and ads were placed with CSU publications to inform faculty, staff and students. Notification also was sent to local news media. The open house featured a new concept design and four informational tables. Below is a summary of the information presented at each of four tables along with their corresponding exhibits.
Table One: Why Elizabeth Street? Why an underpass and not an overpass?
This station provides information about city studies examining location options for the underpass, including traffic studies, information about other intersections that were considered, why an underpass is proposed instead of an overpass, and information about the West Elizabeth corridor. It also includes information about projected use and how the underpass will mitigate pedestrian, bike and car conflicts and increase safety. The proposed underpass will play into a larger city effort to revitalize the Elizabeth Corridor. (Click on exhibit for larger image.)
Table Two: Colorado State University’s Community Infrastructure Commitments (Intergovernmental Agreement with City)
Colorado State University is committed to multiple community infrastructure improvement projects as part of the university and city agreement for stadium construction. This station will provide information about that intergovernmental agreement, including all projects within the agreement, and explain the role of the underpass in helping pedestrians and bicyclists access campus every day, as well as for special events, including those at the stadium. (Click on exhibit for larger image.)
Table Three: How Community Input Influenced Underpass Design, and the Current Proposed Design
This station will share renderings illustrating an early proposed design and how it evolved to address community concerns and input. It will outline benefits of the new design and demonstrate how it resolves concerns. (Click on exhibit for larger image.)
Table Four: Construction Impacts, Project Phasing and Timeline
The proposed underpass would be built in three phases, beginning early in 2017. This station will show the timeline and order in which the underpass would be constructed, as well as outline impacts during construction. (Click on exhibit for larger image.)
Comments and Feedback Collected
Open house attendees were asked to fill out a questionnaire, and additional comments and questions were collected by notetakers as attendees visited tables. The city has made that feedback available through the following links: