The Colorado Department of Transportation will be prioritizing state-of-good-repair essentials thanks to a $140.9 million funding package approved that will allow for statewide maintenance and safety improvements.
The funding, approved by the Colorado Transportation Commission, builds on the Polis Administration’s significant commitments to fixing the condition of Colorado’s roads through measures such as the rural repaving program, an initiative to improve interstate paving condition and crucial measures to strengthen the highway maintenance program. These funds come through an annual Federal Highway Administration process that redistributes unspent federal funds to states at the end of each federal fiscal year.
“This funding package is overwhelmingly about reinvesting in the fundamentals and safety,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “We want to fix rough roads, make roads safer and make our roads more resistant to the challenges that nature inevitably throws at them. Taking care of our existing infrastructure is every bit as important as building new infrastructure.”
Of special note, the package includes $65 million for replacement and repair of culverts, the tunnels beneath roads that allow water to drain properly near roadways, a challenge made worse in recent decades by climate change that has brought more and larger floods and mudslides to our highways, such as with CO 133 near Paonia last spring and in Glenwood Canyon in 2021.
The funding would be the largest investment in culverts in recent CDOT history.
“Culverts may be one of the least noticeable pieces of road infrastructure, but they’re critical for resiliency,” Lew said. “With good culverts, our roads have a much better chance of surviving floods and mudslides. When culverts fail, roads can experience major damage — which can cause serious disruption for travelers.”
The funding package also includes $10 million to install or upgrade guardrail and $7 million for rockfall mitigation. And it includes $13 million for fixing poor interstate pavement, which will allow the acceleration of pavement rehabilitation on Interstate 70 from Bethune to Burlington and builds on other recent interstate repaving work.
The package also includes $8 million for avalanche mitigation and $10 million for rest areas, which includes $8.5 million to repair and reopen the Pinon Rest Area on I-25 between Fountain and Pueblo. That rest area has serious plumbing and drainage problems and needed major upgrades.
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The Colorado Department of Transportation’s mission is to provide the best multi-modal transportation system that most effectively and safely moves people, goods and information. CDOT maintains more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,400 bridges and 35 mountain passes. Our team of employees works tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. CDOT leverages partnerships with a range of private and public organizations and operates Bustang, an interregional express bus service. Find more details at codot.gov.