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Author Topic: Powers Blvd mileposts  (Read 2134 times)

I94RoadRunner

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Powers Blvd mileposts
« on: March 31, 2016, 08:06:12 PM »

On a recent road trip to Colorado Springs, I noticed the mileposts and exit numbers for Powers Blvd are not matching what is planned for CO 21/Powers. The plans call for Powers to be extended first northward from CO 83 to a new freeway to freeway interchange with I-25 just south of the North Gate interchange. There is also a long term plan to extend Powers southward back to I-25 east of Fountain. With this corridor plan, one might expect that the planned southern I-25 junction would be milepost 0, however the US 24 east junction has a milepost/exit number of 141. Further north, Woodmen Road has milepost/exit number of 149. Anyone have any idea why the mileposts are numbered as such .....? The logical explanation is that maybe Powers will become a new alignment of US 85 .....? Or perhaps even a new I-25 routing .....?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 11:45:14 PM by andy3175 »
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Chris Kalina

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Re: Powers Blvd mileposts
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2016, 11:49:00 PM »

I can't say why CO 21 begins at Milepost 141. Matt Salek's excellent Colorado Highways page states the following (hopefully this is helpful):

http://www.mesalek.com/colo/r20-39.html

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SH 21 is Powers Blvd, the Colorado Springs east beltway. It starts on the northeast edge of Fountain, east of Widefield, at an intersection where Mesa Ridge Pkwy (SH 16) curves to the north and becomes Powers Blvd, with a leg of Mesa Ridge going east. Powers then goes north as a four-lane divided expressway, curving around the southwest corner of the Colorado Springs Airport. The intersection at Milton Proby Pkwy (formerly Drennan Rd) is the primary access into the airport. At Fountain Blvd, US 24 comes in from the west and runs with SH 21 north along Powers. At Platte Ave, US 24 exits at the partial cloverleaf interchange and heads east. North of Platte is Powers' busiest section and is a six-lane, arrow-straight, signal light-choked continuous commercial strip all the way to Dublin Blvd. The stretch also features several steep grades as Powers climbs over the rolling terrain.

At Woodmen Rd, Powers has another partial cloverleaf interchange, and begins curving to the northwest. North of Research Pkwy Powers is built to make its eventual "freeway-ization" easier, by having each direction of the road flare outward at the intersections along the ramp alignments, leaving the area in the middle for the future overpasses. Old Ranch Rd and SH 83 do this. This section also included a CDOT experiment, with one direction paved in asphalt and the other in concrete for comparison. The Union Blvd/Briargate Pkwy interchange has the two crossroads share ramps with one-way frontage roads between them. At SH 83/Interquest Pkwy, Powers dead-ends and SH 21 ends. SH 83 and SH 21 end at each other.

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SH 21 was created October 1, 2007, but it was summer 2008 before signage appeared. SH 21 was run over the entire length of Powers as it existed at the time. The take-over by CDOT of Powers began in 1999 when CDOT and the city agreed the swap would eventually take place, although back then the thought was Powers would become part of SH 83. Even before SH 21 existed, CDOT built the section of Powers from Research to SH 83 as part of its 28 high priority projects.

When CDOT took over Powers Blvd to form SH 21, it had ripple effects throughout El Paso County. CDOT turned back to local control numerous highways in the area to keep its mileage balanced. The highways turned back were: 1) All of BL I-25/Nevada Ave; 2) all of SH 29; 3) all of SH 38; 4) SH 83/Academy Blvd from SH 115 east and north to Powers; 5) Spur SH 83 at I-25 Exit 150; 6) US 85/Lake Ave from SH 115 to Venetucci Blvd; and 7) SH 105 from SH 83 to Jackson Creek Pkwy. Item #6 resulted in the renumbering of US 85/Nevada from Lake to I-25 as an extension of SH 115. Also, SH 16 was extended east along Mesa Ridge Pkwy.

In August 2012 the SH 21 interchange at Briargate Pkwy and Union Blvd opened. Previous to the opening through traffic went outward and down the future ramps and along the frontage roads. When the mainline overpasses opened it allowed through traffic to fly through the interchanges without going through the signals.
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r-dub

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Re: Powers Blvd mileposts
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2016, 12:42:13 AM »

Matt and I talked about this a little while back on his blogsite, and his answer makes complete sense:

Quote

Semi off topic question, but any idea on what the SR21/Powers mileage signs are based on? Is it US 85 mileage assigned to this road after parts of it were turned back to Colo Sprgs?

Comment by tgarrett— August 31, 2014 #
Reply   

    I don’t think it’s 85 considering 21 never really even comes close to it, turnback or not. The mileage markers coincide really closely to I-25’s though. (Draw a line due west from a SH 21 milepost and you’ll be within feet of the same number on 25) Maybe a far-future plan of an I-425??

    Comment by Ryan— August 31, 2014 #
    Reply   

        I think they projected Powers down to a future interchange on I-25 south of Fountain and matched the I-25 milepost there. The routing isn’t known yet so makes sense for them to not have used 0 on it.

        Comment by Matt Salek— August 31, 2014 #

Comments on https://milepost61.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/powers-blvd-old-ranch-rd-interchange-bid/

(As an aside, that post was talking about the rebuild of the Powers/Old Ranch interchange. The contractors finished the project just a little over two months ago. Speedy, eh?  :-| )
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Ryan "r-dub"
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I94RoadRunner

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Re: Powers Blvd mileposts
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2016, 10:16:00 AM »

Sort of confirms what I was suspecting. Makes me think that if Powers gets an interstate designation, it may become a new alignment of I-25 and the existing I-25 may get the I-X25 number .....?
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Chris Kalina

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Re: Powers Blvd mileposts
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2016, 11:27:00 PM »

Sort of confirms what I was suspecting. Makes me think that if Powers gets an interstate designation, it may become a new alignment of I-25 and the existing I-25 may get the I-X25 number .....?

Good point. I guess we'll have to see how the upgrades proceed and whether there is a desire to place Powers onto the Interstate Highway System at some point in the future.
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The High Plains Traveler

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Re: Powers Blvd mileposts
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2016, 11:33:53 PM »

This may be contained in the discussion above, but I always thought that the CO-21 mileposts were intended to be continuous of I-25 mileposts at the projected northernmost or southernmost terminus of the route on I-25. Since the northern terminus is more well established, it makes sense that I-25 mileposts would be continued as you go south on CO-21 from the future interchange. I would note that if the Woodmen exit is Exit 149 on CO-21, it also is so on I-25.
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swbrotha100

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Re: Powers Blvd mileposts
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2016, 06:05:32 PM »

Does Colorado do what Arizona does (or used to do), with highways branching off each other and continuing the mileposts? A future I-x25 for this road may explain it.
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r-dub

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Re: Powers Blvd mileposts
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2016, 08:48:04 PM »

Quote
This may be contained in the discussion above, but I always thought that the CO-21 mileposts were intended to be continuous of I-25 mileposts at the projected northernmost or southernmost terminus of the route on I-25. Since the northern terminus is more well established, it makes sense that I-25 mileposts would be continued as you go south on CO-21 from the future interchange. I would note that if the Woodmen exit is Exit 149 on CO-21, it also is so on I-25

Quote
Does Colorado do what Arizona does (or used to do), with highways branching off each other and continuing the mileposts? A future I-x25 for this road may explain it.

Kinda going hand in hand here... Colorado does not do branch off mileposts. All marked highways start with MM 0. That's what makes Powers so odd. Yes, Woodmen is marked as 149A/B on Powers. If CDOT did decide to make mileposts continuous, this is a new way of doing things around here.

That being said, I am unaware of any other completely new state highways coming online since 21/Powers, so we have no reference if this is something new or an anomaly.
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Ryan "r-dub"
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