Leaders address Colorado's transportation funding crisis

A group of Colorado business, civic and elected leaders announced a plan to update Colorado’s roads and bridges at a “Transportation Matters Summit” held Dec. 11 in Loveland. Convened by David May, president and CEO of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, the meeting was attended by leaders from across the state.

The group has formulated the “Fix Colorado Roads Act: Restoring Colorado’s Commitment to Transportation,” a framework to provide the funds necessary to accomplish their goal. They plan to ask the state legislature to refer their proposal to a statewide vote in November 2016.

“We simply cannot continue to be stuck in neutral on transportation funding in Colorado,” May said. “Our population is growing, our economy is expanding and everyone agrees that quality roads and bridges are the key to prosperity and our world-class quality of life. It’s time to come together to put the issue of transportation funding in the legislative fast lane where it belongs.”

Among the most important projects are: Expansion of Interstate 70 West, Interstate 25 South, between Colorado 14 and 136th Avenue, and I-25 South between Monument Hill and Castle Rock.

Because there are no permanent, reliable general fund dollars set aside for transportation improvements in Colorado, the group proposes issuing a bond that, along with funds from the Colorado Department of Transportation, would provide $3.5 billion to support road projects that would touch every legislative district in the state.

During the summit an online citizens’ petition (www.FixColoradoRoads.com) to Gov. John Hickenlooper and legislative leaders in both parties also was launched, allowing Coloradans to express their concern about the state’s transportation system and urge support for a solution in 2016.

Current low interest rates make the bond issue feasible, members of the Fix Colorado Roads group said without offering specifics how the debt would be repaid.

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