COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- An $18 million project to build an overpass for the future extension of Powers Boulevard started Monday.
The bridge will be on the far north end of the Powers extension between Voyager Parkway and Interstate 25; to accommodate the construction, workers are closing the Voyager Parkway intersection where the bridge will eventually be built.
Drivers are asked to use Spectrum Loop, through the Polaris Pointe commercial and retail development, as a detour, but officials also request that drivers use other routes particularly during rush hour periods.
Officials said that traffic impacts to surrounding businesses will be minimal.
A pedestrian pathway will be established for people walking and biking through the area, but officials advise pedestrians to use other routes.
When Powers is eventually extended from Highway 83 at Interquest Parkway to Voyager, it will convey traffic under the bridge and connect to I-25.
The Copper Ridge Metro District is fronting the cost of the project through property tax revenue from surrounding commercial businesses and several apartment complexes; Copper Ridge also financed the earlier two-year project to connect the north end of the Powers extension to I-25.
"This is the first time I'm aware of that the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority is working in this direction -- where the district is up-fronting the cost of the project," said district manager Tim Mitros. "But (the) PPRTA thinks that this is a great use of the funds by being able to get the project done early."
Fronting the cost allows the project to be completed sooner than waiting for available funding from the PPRTA; the agency will reimburse Copper Ridge for the cost of the project.
The cost incudes $2 million to relocate utility lines through the area.
Denny Squibb, a neighbor who lives nearby, noticed more traffic that usual Monday along Spectrum Loop, where he takes regular walks.
"I didn't realize it was going to be closed for a year, but it is what it is -- and it'll be better for people in the long run, I'm sure," he said.
Copper Ridge wants to finish the project before the scheduled opening of the nearby Sunset Amphitheater next fall; the schedule calls for reopening the closed section of Voyager in September.
Finishing work on the project will continue through February 2025.