Army marks next step in Gate 19 project
Last updated 8/11/2021 at 10:01am
The Fort Carson Directorate of Public Works held a groundbreaking ceremony for the final construction phase of Essayons Road on July 27 at Gate 19. The ceremony highlighted the culmination of several phases of work, which began in 2012, to build and improve Essayons Road and separate military vehicle movement from personal vehicle traffic heading to and from Gate 19.
The project is expected to be complete in January 2022. Once finished, a 2-mile, continuously-paved road will connect Gate 19 to Butts Road and the rest of post.
The Essayons Road project was spurred by the construction of facilities when Fort Carson gained an infantry brigade combat team and an aviation brigade in 2009. The phased paving upgrades were made possible using available project-related funds tied to build up of the Wilderness Road complex and addition of new facilities at Butts Army Airfield to accommodate the growth.
The paving of Essayons Road also ties in with the Colorado Department of Transportation's federally-funded reconstruction of Charter Oak Ranch Road connecting Gate 19 and I-25, which kicked off in June. Once both road projects are finished, the newly paved on- and off-post traffic corridor will increase the use of Gate 19, providing direct, improved access for Soldiers and civilian employees coming from the east who work in the Butts Army Airfield and Wilderness Road areas.
According to an article by Susan C. Galentine, Directorate of Public Works sustainability specialist, in the Fort Carson Mountaineer, the resulting shift of traffic will have the added benefit of providing congestion relief at Gate 20 and on post roads between that gate and Wilderness Road. El Paso County estimates that improving Charter Oak Ranch Road will remove approximately one-fourth of the trips to Fort Carson's Gate 20, improving safety along the Interstate 25 corridor and generating time savings for the post's 45,000 military personnel and family members.
"About 60 percent of the City of Fountain is our Soldiers and families. So, it is a huge population of young men, women and families who want to use this gate to get to work quickly," said Col. Nate Springer, commander, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson.
"For Fountain specifically, and your residents, it will decrease traffic on the highway at Gate 20," he said. Springer hopes the traffic corridor improvements will more evenly distribute traffic between Gates 20 and 19.