Posted: Jan 22, 2013 5:21 PM by Zach Thaxton
The Colorado Department of Transportation hopes to begin a $9 million overhaul of the intersection of Powers Boulevard and Old Ranch Road as early as this summer, with completion around Christmas. The intersection is the site of frequent severe high-speed collisions, the most recent occurring around 9:30 p.m. Monday when a car ran a red light westbound on Old Ranch and collided with a car driving south on Powers. People in both cars had to be rushed to the hospital.
"We've been getting a lot of severe accidents due to the high speed, so that's prompted CDOT to look at options to get it going as soon as we can," said CDOT engineer Mark Andrew. Other major improvements to a nearby stretch of Powers wrapped up last fall. Intersections with Briargate Parkway and Union Boulevard were replaced with interchanges so that Powers could flow freely on bridges over Briargate and Union. The intersection with Old Ranch Road has always been slated for similar improvements, but funding has not been in place to begin work. Technically, voter-approved funding for the project through the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority won't be available until 2015, but CDOT is hoping to get it sooner. "CDOT is looking for options to advance that funding and maybe make it available this summer to build the project and complete the interchange at Old Ranch," Andrew said.
When completed, the current lanes of Powers Boulevard at Old Ranch will turn into access ramps and Powers itself will be built out to pass freely under a brand-new bridge elevating Old Ranch above the ground surface. The result will be a 4-lane Powers freeway uninterrupted by stoplights between Research Parkway and Highway 83. CDOT says the new interchange will remove dangerous high-speed Powers Boulevard traffic from pedestrian areas used daily by students at nearby Pine Creek High School. "That would help with the majority of those potential conflicts between pedestrians and high-speed traffic," Andrew said.