The multi-phased Powers Boulevard project in Colorado Springs will provide faster north-south connections on the east side of the city.
A three-mile segment of North Powers Boulevard opened in late September in Colorado Springs, providing a direct connection to State Highway 83, Research Parkway and Woodmen Road.
Powers Boulevard was identified as one of Colorado's highest priority projects for accelerated construction and funding in 1996, when the Transportation Commission established its statewide list of 28 strategic transportation projects. The project also received funding from Gov. Bill Owens' bonding initiative - Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes, or TRANs - passed by Colorado voters in 1999.
"As one of our high-priority projects, Powers Boulevard is proof of what can be accomplished when we're able to use a variety of our funding resources, including bonding, to construct roads that are vital to the local and state transportation network," said Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Tom Norton. "This new segment of Powers will effectively transform traffic movements through this area and improve access to the eastern parts of Colorado and El Paso County."
Four Phases Work on the $38.9 million project began in December 2002. It was built in four phases:
* Phase I (December 2002 to June 2004) - Roadway grading and drainage between Briargate Boulevard and Kettle Creek; bridge construction over Kettle and Pine creeks; realignment and widening of Old Ranch Road.
* Phase II - (June 2004 to August 2004) - Concrete paving on northbound Powers from Briargate Boulevard to Kettle Creek.
* Phase III - (June 2004 to July 2005) - Asphalt paving of southbound Powers from Kettle Creek to Briargate Boulevard.
* Phase IV (April 2004 to September 2005) - Realignment and widening of S.H. 83 from old S.H. 83 to north of Shoup Road; Shoup Road/S.H. 83 intersection safety improvements; bridge construction over Black Squirrel Creek; construction and paving of Powers from Kettle Creek to S.H. 83; and signing, striping, guardrail and lighting installation and erosion control between Briargate Boulevard and S.H. 83.
Approximately $100 million of the $220 million committed to Powers Boulevard through the TRANs program has been spent. Four projects have been completed on the roadway: Powers/Platte Avenue Interchange; Woodmen Road to Briargate Boulevard (two projects); and Briargate Boulevard to S.H. 83.
Four projects have been completed on the roadway: Powers/Platte Avenue Interchange; Woodmen Road to Briargate Boulevard (two projects); and Briargate Boulevard to S.H. 83.
Partnership CDOT and La Plata Investments partnered on the construction of Powers Boulevard between Woodmen and Briargate.
"We've had a number of excellent partnerships with the city, county and area developers," said CDOT's Regional Director Bob Torres. "The city completed the environmental assessment, allowing Powers to ultimately become a freeway. Along with La Plata, we worked with [Colorado] Vintage [Companies Inc.] for future improvements on Old Ranch Road, and Classic [Homes Inc.] helped us preserve right-of-way north of Highway 83 for the future expansion of Powers."
Colorado Vintage Companies and Classic Homes are developers with interests along the Powers Boulevard project.
'Swap' Agreement"CDOT and the city of Colorado Springs signed a "swap" agreement in 1999, with CDOT providing funding ($220 million in TRANs funds) to build Powers Boulevard as an access-controlled freeway between Drennen Road and I-25 at Northgate. The agreement calls for the city to assume ownership and maintenance responsibilities of Academy Boulevard, Nevada Avenue and other state highway segments through the city, and CDOT to assume ownership of Powers. The first phase of this agreement is set to go into effect by fall 2006.
"The segment we recently opened is just one of the many parts of the long-term plan for Powers Boulevard," Norton said earlier this fall. "The Powers/Woodmen interchange is next, since $16 million has been allocated through the recently enacted federal transportation bill. The right-of-way has been acquired, and it's already designed. Now we're just waiting for the money to start construction."
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