This project is part of a broader, ongoing CDOT plan that has sequentially improved interchanges along the Powers Boulevard corridor due to growth. It follows improvements already made at the Powers Boulevard interchanges at Union Boulevard, Old Ranch Road and Briargate Boulevard.

This study focuses on El Paso County on CO 21 (Powers Boulevard) from mile point (MP) 149 to MP 151, and Research Parkway between Scarborough Drive and Cross Creek Drive. CO 21 carries north/south traffic from the town of Fountain to northern Colorado Springs, while Research Parkway carries east/west traffic between commercial and residential developments.

The conceptual design of this interchange was approved in 1997 as part of the Powers Boulevard Extension North, Woodmen Road to I-25 Environmental Assessment. A partial clover interchange with a single-loop ramp in the northwest quadrant was identified as the preferred alternative in 1997 Powers Environmental Assessment.

Since 1997, much has changed, including the change of ownership and development plans of Banning Lewis Ranch (affects traffic forecasts), and the city of Colorado Springs' legal action for violating a 2004 intergovernmental agreement (IGA), and noncompliance with its federal stormwater discharge permit. (The city will build a water detention facility (the Fairfax Pond) in the northwest quadrant to be compliant with the agreement.)

The 1997 EA defines a plan to address the needs within the Powers and Research interchange limits. CDOT must implement the Powers and Research grade-separated-interchange solution following re-evaluation of any changes that have since taken place within the area.

The project includes re-evaluation of the planned interchange design to accommodate changes in conditions and simultaneous design of the Fairfax Pond (the federal stormwater discharge facility in the northwest quadrant of the project). This large flood-control and water-quality pond is currently designed as a standalone city of Colorado Springs project.