El Paso County is conducting a Corridor Study for Highway 105 between Interstate 25 (I-25) and SH 83, a distance of about 5 miles. This section of roadway provides direct access to I-25 and connects the eastern portion of El Paso County and Palmer Lake. The study is being conducted to identify capacity, mobility and safety improvements as well as a plan for implementing those improvements based on need and available funding. While a long term plan will be developed, it is anticipated that the improvements will be phased in over the course of several years. Safety improvements will be completed first, with capacity improvements to be completed only as conditions warrant and funding becomes available. This study will prioritize improvements for design and construction as well as identify any operational changes that could help maximize efficiency in the interim. Systemwide design features such as drainage will be investigated to determine the long term solution. Local and regional plans have previously identified the need for this section of Highway 105 to be upgraded; and this study will be coordinated with concurrent efforts. The study will include opportunity for stakeholder review and comment and will ultimately be documented in the Corridor Plan that will set the direction for improvements in the corridor.
Purpose and Need
The purpose of the study and analysis is to address the problem of congestion and safety between I-25 and SH 83; conditions which will continue to worsen as development and population growth continue in the area. The Highway 105 Corridor Study will examine the entire stretch of roadway to develop a plan to address corridor-wide and site specific issues while minimizing impacts to the surrounding natural and human environment. A planning horizon of 2040 will be used to evaluate both existing and future conditions. The result will be a Corridor Plan that identifies the specific improvements needed to address existing and future corridor operational deficiencies, as well as the appropriate timing and phasing for the improvements. Both access management and geometric improvements will be considered as a means to optimize corridor traffic operations and improve the capacity of Highway 105, while balancing access needs to adjacent areas.
Currently in the Corridor there are inconsistent shoulder widths and limited sight distance in some areas due to horizontal or vertical curves. The crash pattern in the Corridor coincides with areas of substandard geometric design as well as a high number of crashes at the I-25 ramps which is expected due to higher volumes. A large number of the crashes are rear-end collisions, which supports the connection between substandard design and the event. There are numerous access points along Highway 105 for commercial, residential, and public use that will be examined and for which a consistent access plan will be developed.
Drainage is a concern through the Corridor. Currently there is a curb and gutter system in the western portion of the study area that ends in the vicinity of Monument Academy. To the east, storm water simply runs off the road into a system of culverts and roadside ditches, many of which suffer erosion and sediment build-up. Drainage, including impacts to receiving waters and adjacent wetlands, will be studied and incorporated as appropriate in the project improvements. Wetlands and sensitive habitats will be mapped and avoided to the extent possible. Any unavoidable impacts will be first minimized and then mitigated in coordination with the jurisdictional agency (i.e., US Fish and Wildlife Service or US Army Corps of Engineers).
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