Mason street corridor road closures to end mid-September

Many students spent the summer dealing with delays due to road closures and construction along Mason Street north of campus.

That has been coming to an end, however, over the past few weeks as traffic has returned to Mason. Southbound traffic will resume from Laurel to the Downtown Transit Center by mid-September, according to Fort Collins City Spokeswoman Claire Thomas.

While the city has done much to minimize impact, the construction over the summer, starting in July, has seen Mason Street closed for more than a month including major east-west thoroughfares such as Mulberry Street, Laurel Street and Mountain Avenue.

For some students who live near the construction area such as Nick Galvan, a junior electrical engineering major, it meant an additional 30 minutes of travel at times.

“It’s been frustrating,” he said.

Although the project is a few years from being completed, the end goal of the construction on Mason street is to implement a system to streamline north-south transportation in the city. The work is part of a plan to install a system called MAX, which will run from south of Harmony street to the Downtown Transit Center.

The project is expected to cost almost $82 million, according to a Federal Transit Administration document, for which 80 percent of the funds will come from the federal government.

As construction finishes on Mason Street north of campus for now, focus will now be shifted south toward the area between Horsetooth and Harmony roads, according to Thomas.

The project, which aims to be operational by May of 2014, will employ Bus Rapid Transit, which has also been referred to as “rubber tired light rail.” The system will consist of a route that will run every 10 minutes along the Mason corridor.

The aim with this project is to encourage more north-south travel along the Mason corridor, according to Thomas.

“Max will really change the area,” she said.

For some students though, the primary benefit would be the later operation. The line is planned to run Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. to midnight.

“I feel like more people would use the bus system with it running later,” said Amanda Frausel, a junior business administration major who rides the bus to work near the Downtown Transit Center from campus three times a week.


Collegian Writer Sam Noblett can be reached at news@collegian.com.