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Future of Powers Boulevard in Colorado Springs to include more overpasses

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- As local leaders celebrated the official opening Thursday of the newly-completed overpass at the intersection of Powers Boulevard and Research Parkway, they are already planning for the next major project along the busy east side corridor.


The Colorado Department of Transportation confirmed that an overpass will be built on Powers at the Airport Road intersection, near the main entrance to Peterson Space Force Base.

That $49 million project is currently under design and construction could start sometime next year.


El Paso County Commissioner Holly Williams said that following the Powers/Airport overpass, she hopes the next one will be on Powers at the Constitution Avenue intersection, near the busy First & Main shopping center.


"We need them at Dublin (Boulevard), Barnes (Road), Stetson Hills (Boulevard) and especially Constitution," she said. "I imagine Constitution is pretty high on the list next because it is a major stopping point. I can also see the need for one at the Grinnell Boulevard intersection, near the new Amazon facility."

The trend shows that officials are resuming the original plan for Powers -- to make it an expressway across the city's east side, from north to south, with few or no traffic signals -- but the plan will require several more overpasses.


Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said that much of the goal could be realized within the next 10 to 15 years because more funding will be available from the state and federal governments; a lack of funding slowed progress on the plan during the previous decade.


Currently, there are Powers overpasses at Research, Platte Avenue, Woodmen Road, Briargate Parkway, Union Boulevard and Old Ranch Road; Platte is the only one south of Woodmen.

Williams said that the current plan to extend Powers north to Voyager Parkway and Interstate 25 already has resulted in one overpass and likely will require at least one more, all largely built by developers in the area.


Eventually extending Powers south, from Fountain to I-25, is the purpose of a study in progress by county officials.

However, there are mixed feelings among some citizens about whether the overpass trend is good or bad.


"It seems like there are still red lights to stop for," said Kristen Harper. 'It's still chaotic. Just because they've split it up, doesn't mean there's no more excessive traffic down below. So I'm not sure that this is the solution."

But others say that see overpasses as a positive trend.


"We're going to increase on traffic, so we need to keep adding on -- although it is an inconvenience to have all the construction -- but after it's done, it's really good," said Ed Ingram.

Carlos Perez said that he supports more overpasses if they are an upgrade to older, existing structures.


"We need more of them, so that people -- whether you're traveling by car, bicycle or on foot -- that you can safely and efficiently cross these freeways," he said.

Some citizens also express concern about how the trend might negatively affect businesses along Powers.


"If you make it more of an expressway, it may become harder to get off and go to those businesses," Harper said. "Businesses are struggling enough already."

In a related matter, Williams said that federal funding from the federal infrastructure bill is available only if local governments apply for and receive grants to finance individual projects; the total amount available has yet to be released.

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Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.


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