Interchange reconstruction to begin at Powers Boulevard (CO 21) and Research Parkway

Travel Advisory

June 23, 2021 - Southeastern Colorado - Officials celebrated start of construction with groundbreaking on June 23

CO 21 and Research Pkwy. Groundbreaking

Colorado Springs –The Colorado Department of Transportation is moving quickly to put stimulus funding to work in southeastern Colorado. Along with contractor partner Kraemer North America, CDOT will begin work on June 24 to improve the safety and accessibility of Powers Boulevard/Colorado Highway 21 between Mile Point 149 and 151 at Research Parkway. Southeast Colorado will receive a portion of the stimulus funding, which will be invested in the “ready to construct” interchange. The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments will add their share of $8.5 million in sub-allocated stimulus funds to the area’s highest priority project along with CDOT’s $17 million.

Local and state officials gathered today to celebrate the start of construction by holding a ceremonial groundbreaking at a nearby park. “We are happy to see the funding of this improvement in partnership with the State of Colorado bringing benefits to Colorado Springs and the state,” explained Colorado Springs Mayor, John Suthers, “This project would not have been possible without the partnership with the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments and the Colorado Department of Transportation. This is a wise use of state funds that will benefit our community into the future.”

Work will consist of replacing the current at-grade intersection with an innovative Diverging Diamond Interchange and constructing an overpass for Powers Boulevard/ Colorado Highway 21 traffic to move continuously through the intersection over Research Parkway (pictured below). In addition to building the new Diverging Diamond Interchange structure, with Powers Boulevard going over Research Parkway, the project will include new pavement to three miles of CO 21 and add pedestrian/bicycle enhancements to improve access to schools in the area. The project is in response to the growth in the northeastern area of Colorado Springs along the Powers Boulevard corridor and is part of CDOT’s on-going effort to improve interchanges along the corridor. 

“From the standpoint of congestion, this project right here has been so badly needed for a long, long time,” said El Paso County Commissioner Holly Williams. “The additional sidewalks will enhance the safety and accessibility for pedestrians and bicyclists in our outdoor-friendly region. Projects like this one illustrate how different modes of transportation can and should coexist. Seeing this project come to fruition is exciting to me.”

“Last week, Governor Polis signed SB260 to provide a comprehensive approach to reducing traffic, improving the safety of our aging system and improving air quality,” explained Shoshana Lew, CDOT Executive Director. “One key part of that package is making it possible to pay for projects across the state that are part of CDOT’s ten year plan. Modernizing Powers Boulevard is a key priority for the Pike’s Peak region, and this project is one of multiple choke points along that artery that our plan advances.”

The new Diverging Diamond Interchange will increase the flow of traffic by allowing free-flowing turns when entering and exiting Powers Boulevard/Colorado Highway 21 from Research Parkway by eliminating left turns against oncoming traffic and reducing the number of traffic signals. Work on the $42 million project is underway and  is expected to be completed by fall 2022. 

Travel Impacts 

  • Beginning in June and continuing throughout the project, intermittent nighttime lane restrictions from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. will be required on Powers Boulevard/Colorado Highway 21 between Mile Markers 149 and 151. 

  • The speed limit on Powers Boulevard/Colorado Highway 21 will be reduced to 45 MPH in the construction zone.  

  •  The speed limit on Research Parkway will be reduced to 35 MPH in the construction zone. 

  • All closures are subject to weather conditions and will be adjusted as needed to complete construction activities. 

For more information:

Project Webpage

CDOT Puts Stimulus Funding to Work for Coloradoans

How to Drive a DDI video

Project and Travel Resources

For additional information about this project, contact the project team. 

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

Remember: Slow for the Cone Zone

The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.

  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.

  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.

  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.

  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.

  • Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.

  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.

  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.

  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.

  • Be patient!

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.