pel study and acp
El Paso County is working in collaboration with Stakeholders to identify a range of short and long-term improvements to address current and future transportation needs along the corridor and maintain regional connectivity. The PEL and ACP will assist local agencies in making local land use decisions and coordinating with landowners for future growth and development.
of a combined
PEL & ACP Process
As the South Powers Blvd PEL Study progresses, the reports, exhibits, corridor mapping and public outreach exhibits will be posted here for public viewing, review and comment.
•Purpose & Need and Goals
•Access Control Plan
•Planning and Environmental Linkages Report
The South Powers Blvd PEL Study completed the Existing Conditions Report in Spring of 2023. This report reviews the following:
The history of the corridor
Existing land use of the study area
Existing traffic conditions and safety considerations for the transportation network within the study area
Environmental resources present in the area, and steps to avoid or mitigate for impacts to these resources
The purpose of completing the Existing Conditions report was to better understand the needs and goals of the proposed corridor, and to collect data that will be used in the Alternatives Analysis process.
PURPOSE & NEED and GOALS
At the conclusion of the Existing Conditions Report, the Project Team collaborated with project stakeholders, and representatives of local agencies, to develop a Purpose & Need statement for the proposed corridor. The Purpose and Need statement is the most important section of the Environmental document and establishes the reason why an agency is proposing a project. The Purpose & Need and Goals were approved by the Federal Highways Association (FHWA) in February of 2023, so that they may be used in future NEPA processes.
Purpose of Transportation Improvements:
The purpose of the study is to recommend an alignment to extend South Powers Boulevard (CO 21) from CO 16/Mesa Ridge Parkway to a connection with Interstate 25 (I-25), south of Colorado Springs and Fountain, Colorado. This new corridor aims to enhance regional mobility and integrate future multimodal opportunities. The study will define the phasing and next steps for implementing Powers Boulevard to the south.
Need for Transportation Improvements:
Advance Local and Regional Mobility –SPE is needed to complete the regional transportation network in the Fountain Valley area to adequately serve future travel demands associated with continued growth. Improvements would enhance north/south mobility in the region by providing a connection to I-25, increasing access to future east/west routes, and adding an alternate route to other destinations.
Incorporate Multimodal Opportunities — Stakeholder input and prior planning efforts identified the need to increase connectivity and accessibility to multimodal opportunities. Through improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities, enhanced trail network connectivity, and potential public transit connections, SPE would support an integrated transportation network.
Goals of Transportation Improvements:
Accommodate Local and Regional Plans and Economic Growth– The recommended alternative should build upon previous local and regional planning efforts that document proposed growth and development and the need for the extension of South Powers Boulevard.
Corridor Preservation Footprint - Recommended project alternatives will be used to define the estimated right-of-way (ROW) needs to support future growth along the corridor. Although the Access Control Plan (ACP) is a separate and concurrent process, it will show the estimated Corridor Preservation line developed during the PEL process to support local agencies in land use decision-making.
Consider Impacts to the Natural & Built Environment – The proposed corridor should minimize impacts to documented environmental resource constraints to the greatest extent possible. Environmental resource constraints documented in the Existing Conditions Report included wetlands, aquifers, stream channels, floodplains, potential habitat for threatened and endangered (T&E) species and general wildlife, underground and above-ground utilities, historic resources, recreational resources, easements, and hazardous materials. Improvements should also consider impacts to residential, agricultural, and commercial properties.
Resiliency – The rapidly increasing population surrounding the proposed corridor, coupled with the increasing rates of natural disasters and emergency response conditions, means that the corridor should be developed resiliently to withstand potential natural threats, such as fire and flood. Identifying risks that would require resilient solutions to protect the assets will reduce the likelihood of severe damage to those assets.
Support Technology and Green Infrastructure – Improvements should consider that increases in development and traffic volumes will result in changes in implementation and advancement of technology along the corridor. Transportation technology is anticipated to change within the next 20 to 30 years, and improvements should consider the potential for technological advancement and opportunities to incorporate green infrastructure and practices. This includes possible utilization of ROW, techniques to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and technology that will facilitate the efficient movement of people, goods, and services.