Construction update, Shields and Elizabeth underpass

Rachel Telljohn

Construction is ongoing for the overpass at Shields and Elizabeth.

The project began in December and is scheduled to be complete sometime this coming August.


Currently, the project is in phase two, which means traffic on Shields is reduced to one lane each way traveling north and south bound. Lane closures will continue until this Friday.

There will be a complete closure of Shields Street from Feb. 25 to March 19, weather permitting. The closure will mark the end of phase two and the beginning of phase three. Phase three will also consist of varied lane closures on Elizabeth, near the businesses located at Campus West. Flyers indicating these phases will be posted in the businesses there.

Construction work is underway at the corner of Shields and Elizabeth Streets for an underpass. (Elliott Jerge | Collegian)

At this time, the closure of Shields Street is the largest impact to come from construction on the underpass. The closure will occur so that tunnels may be dug for the underpass, as deep as 18 feet, according to a Collegian article.

Colorado State University has partnered with the City of Fort Collins on the project, but the project is funded solely by the University. The project will cost the University just shy of $11 million, according to a Collegian article.

The flyers to be hung in the Campus West businesses also highlight features of the project, including a well-lit gateway and an extra wide bike and pedestrian passageway.

An estimated 50,000 cars and 2,000 bikes go through the intersection, where the underpass will be built, each day, according to the City of Fort Collins Engineering and the University.

As of now, there have been no updates for any cost increases for the project.

“The underpass won’t be able to accommodate vehicles – just pedestrians, bikes, long boarders and such,” wrote, Dell Rae Ciaravola, CSU risk and public safety communications manager, in an email to the Collegian.

The underpass will be the third of its kind at the University, after the successful opening of the Prospect and Centre underpass last semester. The Shields and Elizabeth underpass is designed to help with with increased pedestrian and bicyclist safety, according to a press release written by Ciaravola.

Collegian reporter Rachel Telljohn can be reached at or on Twitter @racheltelljohn.