COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A project that took nearly 40 years of planning becomes more active beginning Monday when workers officially start a mile-long extension of Centennial Boulevard.
Centennial currently ends south of Fillmore Street, at the Van Buren Street intersection; the project will extend Centennial to the interchange at Interstate 25 and Fontanero Street.
The exit at that interchange will be changed from the Fontanero exit to the Centennial exit when the project is finished.
"We expect 17,000 vehicles a day to use that road when it opens," said Aaron Egbert, senior engineer for the city. "It should reduce traffic volumes on Garden of the Gods Road and Chestnut Street. And we're including a multi-use trail that will ultimately connect to other trails, and bike lanes for easy travel to and from downtown."
City officials said that the project will cost $20 million and be financed by revenue from the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority sales tax.
The projected is expected to be completed by next fall.
Some preliminary work is already underway on the west side construction site, with heavy machinery turning soil and laying out the route.
To build the extension, the city had gradually acquired property in the area and cleaned up an undocumented landfill on the site.
Neighbors have expressed mixed feelings about the project.
"I see good and bad," said Marshall Bennett. "The quietness we have enjoyed in my 12 years here will kind of go away to some degree. But what's good is the access and ability of getting up to Fillmore."
"I hope it stops the people who run the stop signs during school time, and maybe the speeders who come along on Chestnut," said Deb Busier. "It could be a good thing."
For more information about the project, visit: https://coloradosprings.gov/centennialblvdextension.