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Local developer to start Powers/I-25 connection in north Colorado Springs

Plan involves building first segment of road

Developer plans to build first part of I25-Powers connection in Colorado Springs

- The long-awaited process of connecting Powers Boulevard to Interstate 25 in Colorado Springs is apparently about to start, thanks to a local developer.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 has learned that Gary Erickson, the developer of Polaris Pointe, a commercial project at the intersection of North Gate Boulevard and Voyager Parkway -- not far from I-25 -- plans to start building the first segment of the connection next spring.

The plan involves building an interchange at an unspecified location on I-25, presumably between the North Gate and Baptist Road exits, followed by a four-lane highway covering slightly less than a mile to Voyager, that could be finished in two years at a cost of $37 million.

A percentage of sales tax revenue generated by Polaris Pointe businesses under an Urban Renewal designation will pay for the connection.

Polaris Pointe is projected to generate $141 million in sales tax revenue over the next 25 years.

The developer currently is building a bridge connecting two halves of his Polaris Pointe development.

However, it's unclear when the Colorado Department of Transportation, and local governments, will find the money to pay for the remaining connection -- which could cost as much as $100 million.

"There's no public money available for it," said Andy Stecklein of CDOT.  "Just because a developer builds a segment of a connector doesn't mean we'll suddenly find the rest of the money.  It could sit there for years, but that's not a bad thing if it raises the public demand for a connector."

Other projects, such as widening I-25 between Monument and Caste Rock, and building an overpass at Powers and Research Parkway, have become bigger priorities for CDOT.

Connecting I-25 to Powers at both ends has long been CDOT's plan; there still is no south end connection proposed.

The north end of Powers currently stops at Interquest Parkway.

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