Hancock Expressway / Academy Boulevard Planning and Environmental Linkages Study

The Study

View the Hancock Expressway / Academy Boulevard Study

“This study is the next step of the Academy Boulevard Corridor Great Streets Plan,” said Carl Schueler, City of Colorado Springs Comprehensive Planning Manager. “The expected ultimate outcome is a package of transportation improvements that supports, sustains and contributes to the revitalization of this portion of the South Academy Corridor and its associated planning areas. This is a key opportunity for the public to hear about, respond to and recommend final refinements for the plan.”

Several Academy Boulevard six-lane intersection configuration alternatives were presented for review and discussion at the March 2015 public meeting along with a “no action” alternative. Based on public input and technical analysis, the range of alternatives was reduced, leading to the preferred alternative that was presented and discussed during the August 27 public meeting at Victory World Outreach Church in the project area. Citizen and business input has been incorporated on roadway configurations that better meet the needs of the area, vehicular access, transit and pedestrian facilities and aesthetics among other mobility and safety improvements.

Once complete, this study will position the City to embark on a path to identify funding opportunities as well as to prioritize initial projects for construction. “This plan is based on specific safety and mobility needs as well as community values and desires for this important area of South Academy Boulevard,” said Schueler. “We recognize, however, the reality of budget constraints from numerous community priorities, so this is a long-term implementation plan that positions us to leverage funding opportunities including phasing options.”

The City of Colorado Springs has completed the next step in the City's goal to revitalize the South Academy Boulevard Corridor with a Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study for the Corridor node at the Hancock Expressway and Academy Boulevard intersection. The Hancock / Academy PEL Study identifies existing conditions and future transportation challenges, evaluate alternatives that address the transportation needs of the area, and identifies a Recommended Alternative. Determining the feasibility for undergrounding transmission lines in the project area was also a key part of the PEL studies. Ultimately, the City's goal is for a completed capital improvements project that is intended to sustain and contribute to the revitalization of this portion of the South Academy Corridor and its associated planning areas.

During the August 27, 2015 public meeting, the public reviewed and provided feedback to the recommended alternative and discussed revitalization opportunities that the Hancock/Academy alternatives may provide. For more information, read more in the 'Study Documents' section below.

The Planning and Environmental Linkage Study (PEL) is the next step in the Academy Boulevard Corridor Great Streets Plan. The expected ultimate outcome is a package of transportation improvements that support, sustain and contribute to the revitalization of the portion of the South Academy Corridor and its associated planning areas. 

Hancock/Academy Intersection Improvements:

Project Background:

The City of Colorado Springs has been actively engaged in a revitalization planning and implementation effort focusing on the segment of Academy Boulevard between Maizeland Road and Drennan Road/Proby Parkway. In 2011 City Council adopted the Academy Boulevard Corridor Great Streets Plan for this approximately six-mile corridor. Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach designated the Great Streets corridor as an Economic Opportunity Zone (EOZ). The Great Streets Plan identifies the Hancock Expressway / Academy Boulevard node as a major redevelopment node, recommending that a more detailed process to comprehensively redesign this intersection and the surrounding area as more urban, modern, multi-modal and economic development supportive.

Study Purpose

The purpose of the Hancock / Academy PEL is to provide a safer transportation system for the traveling public and pedestrians and improve multi-modal mobility access (pedestrians, bicycles, public transit and private/commercial vehicles) to the local community and businesses in the Hancock Expressway and Academy Boulevard intersection area.

The study purpose is in accord with goals established for the larger South Academy Corridor in the City Council - adopted Great Streets Plan.

General Steps in the Planning and Environmental Linkage Process

  • Engage the community and governmental agencies early in the planning process
  • Establish the project purpose and need
  • Document existing transportation and environmental conditions
  • Identify future transportation challenges, using the year 2040 as a planning horizon
  • Systematically evaluate alternatives
  • Identify a Recommended Alternative(s)
  • Establish an implementation plan for potential project phasing

Study Area (boundaries are flexible)

  • North – Chelton Road
  • South – Drennan Road
  • East – Jet Wing Drive
  • West – Incorporates a segment of Sand Creek and the adjacent community

Stakeholders

The project involves many stakeholders who have an interest in and around the Hancock Expressway/Academy Boulevard intersection. Stakeholders met September 24th, 2014  at the Victory World Outreach Church, 3150 S. Academy Blvd, for a project kick-off meeting to discuss key factors important to the success of the project including:

  • Potential for enhanced business and property access
  • Technical and financial feasibility of possible major electric transmission line undergrounding
  • Traffic and pedestrian safety
  • Traffic capacity
  • Economic vitality/development
  • Transit accommodations (short- and long-term)

Kickoff meeting participants

  • Representatives from Federal, State and local government
  • City project team
  • Consultant team
  • Colorado Department of Transportation
  • Colorado Springs City Council and Mayor's office
  • Colorado Springs Planning and Transportation staff
  • Colorado Springs Utilities
  • Colorado Springs Police and Fire Departments
  • Directly impacted property and business owners
  • Stakeholders in the vicinity of the project
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Neighborhood representatives

Study Documents:

City Contacts

Carl Schueler, AICP                                                          Aaron Egbert, PE

Co-Project Manager                                                       Co-Project Manager

(719) 385-5391                                                                     (719) 385-5465

cschueler@springsgov.com                                         aegbert@springsgov.com

Consultant Team Contacts

Todd Frisbie, PE                                                                    Tim Tetherow

Project Manager                                                              Deputy Project Manager

(719) 314-1800                                                                        (303) 721-1440

todd.frisbie@fhueng.com                                           Tim.tetherow@fhueng.com

Lisa Bachman, APR

Public Involvement

Lisa@bachmanpr.com

(719) 488-5908

 

Alternatives