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Colorado Springs Celebrates Completion of Colorado Highway 21 and Research Parkway Diverging Diamond Interchange

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Governor Jared Polis, representatives from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and state and local officials recently gathered for a ceremonial ribbon cutting on the newly constructed Diverging Diamond Interchange at CO 21 and Research Parkway. The ceremony celebrated the completion of this priority infrastructure project, which was funded by federal COVID-19 stimulus funds received through the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021. Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers as well as representatives from the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners, Colorado Springs City Council, Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, and the Federal Highway Administration spoke at the event.

“I was excited to celebrate the ribbon cutting for Colorado Highway 21, Powers Boulevard, and Research Parkway several months ahead of schedule," Polis said. "This completed project is an important part of a larger vision for the Colorado Springs area. Improving safety and mobility on Colorado roads is a priority for my administration and the Department of Transportation. That vision is woven into every project in the 10-year plan, and every day we get closer to making those improvements a reality."

“As we grow, it’s vital that we improve and streamline the Powers corridor to handle that growth to provide folks with the ability to move around town safely and quickly,” Suthers said. “This project, and others like it, will keep all of us moving safely and efficiently. It also showcases the great collaborative spirit in our region between the city, CDOT, El Paso County, and the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments.”

“We regularly praise the good planning and strong partnerships between the state and local governments in this community, but the commitment that brought us to today deserves special attention,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “From the CDOT perspective, we saw local partners step up in an extraordinary way to get this project moving at the first opportunity. Together, we were able to move quickly and stand together to get this project completed on an accelerated time table.”

The at-grade intersection has now been replaced with an innovative Diverging Diamond Interchange with a newly constructed overpass for CO 21 traffic to move continuously through the intersection over Research Parkway. The new Diverging Diamond Interchange increases the flow of traffic by allowing free-flowing turns when entering and exiting CO 21 from Research Parkway by eliminating left turns against oncoming traffic and reducing the number of traffic signals.

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This interchange now offers better safety and mobility for all types of travelers in this rapidly growing area, and while the diverging diamond configuration will seem most noticeable for cars and vehicular traffic, important bicyclist and pedestrian improvements will be especially helpful to the nearby schools.

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