Colorado Advances $1.7 Billion in Transportation Funding Over Next 5 Years

With a total investment of nearly $4 billion in 10 Year Plan funding, CDOT reaches record phase of construction across the state; delivers on commitments

The Colorado Department of Transportation recently announced $1.7 billion in projects set to deliver the next phase of the department’s Ten Year Plan after the Colorado Transportation Commission adopted a major update to the plan. This funding builds on $2.2 billion in previous Ten-Year Plan capital investments, many of which are now complete and well underway. CDOT’s Ten Year Plan provides a statewide list of priority transportation projects compiled through the most expansive and inclusive planning and outreach effort ever undertaken. It fixes roads and bridges, making the largest investment in rural roads in modern Colorado history, and advances multimodal investments that expand choice for Coloradans.

The new set of projects approved today is made possible by a final year of legislative financing from Senate Bill 17-267 and the first years of sustained, long-term funding from Senate Bill 21-260 combined with above-base federal funds provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). CDOT also received recent news of its largest ever federal grant, providing $100 million in new federal funding to improve Floyd Hill along the I-70 mountain corridor. This grant leverages newly expanded state dollars from SB 21-260.

“We are taking bold action to improve our infrastructure, roads, and bridges while saving people time and money,” said Gov. Polis. “From Floyd Hill to Lake City, we are fixing rural roads and making sure that Coloradans and visitors can get where they need to go safely and quickly.”

Notably, the updated plan also incorporates ambitious new greenhouse gas pollution reduction planning standards established by the Transportation Commission in December of 2021. These standards support the completion of infrastructure improvements throughout the state while also working to improve air quality and address the impacts of climate change in the transportation sector, which is now the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in Colorado and nationwide.

“CDOT is proud to take this next step in building Colorado’s infrastructure and improving our transportation system for years to come,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “Thanks to the investments made possible by the legislature and Governor Polis through SB 260, Colorado now has sustained support to fix and build the infrastructure our growing state needs and leverage newly available federal funding through grants like the $100 million that we recently received for Floyd Hill. Today’s actions also show that we can do all this while taking meaningful action on climate change, improving our air and providing Coloradans more choices.”

I-70 Floyd Hill and the continued expansion of I-25 North — which will complete all I-25 North segments included in the Ten Year Plan — are among the largest projects set to move forward in a list that also continues the successful rural road improvement program; investment in tens of millions of dollars in pavement repairs along I-76 and I-70 in Northeastern Colorado; and further build-out of new and expanded transit service across the state, including on I-70 and I-25.

“The Transportation Commission has taken a deliberate and serious approach to update the Ten-Year Plan and incorporate Pollution Reduction Planning standards that we have worked hard to develop and execute responsibly, with many inputs from stakeholders.  I commend CDOT staff and stakeholders for their hard work, as well as the members of the Transportation Commission Agency Coordination Committee — Lisa Hickey, Karen Stuart, and Barbara Vasquez — who have spent countless hours of their time working to achieve a balanced approach that supports cleaner air as well as the safety and capacity projects that we need to provide mobility to Coloradans,” said Transportation Commission Chair Don Stanton.

The 10-Year Plan is continuing to deliver results across the state.  For example, in the Pikes Peak region alone, the Plan achieves key regional priorities like the intersection of Research and Powers Boulevard — which opened to the public this week — and the intersection of Airport and Powers Boulevard, which today’s announcement moves forward. These projects complement the delivery of major improvements along I-25 such as opening the I-25 Gap a year ahead of schedule and planned major safety improvements on I-25 between Fillmore Street and Garden of the Gods.  In addition, rural road improvements range from projects on Highway 24 both east and west of Colorado Springs to improving rural stretches on CO-115 stretching southwest to Penrose along Ft. Carson.  Further, the Ten-Year Plan established unprecedented collaboration between CDOT and the military installations in the region, through the Military Access Mobility, Safety, and Improvement Project (MAMSIP).

On the Western Slope, recently completed Ten Year Plan projects range from the intersection of I-70B at First and Grand in Grand Junction, and the reconstruction of a stretch of US-50 that was once so tumultuous to drive it was referred to as the “Delta Dips” or the “Roller Coaster.”  A major reconstruction of Colorado Highway 13 near Rifle — a vital connector to I- 80 in Wyoming that adds redundancy for motor carriers and others reliant on multiple interstate connections — is one of many projects under construction, which the projects announced today such as multiple improvements to US-40 will complement.

On the I-70 mountain corridor, projects that are recently completed, ongoing, and advancing through the Ten-Year Plan include the west-bound express lane from the Veterans Memorial Tunnel to Empire, Floyd Hill, improving Vail Pass, adding an auxiliary lane, and modernizing the interchange at exit 203 in Summit County from exit 203-205, as well as addressing a decades-long backlog of repairs to the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnels.  In addition, significant maintenance repairs on I-70 over the past few seasons have included repaving key areas like Genesee and Silverthorne. These deferred investments of well over a billion dollars are major achievements in modernizing the corridor in an environmentally responsible way that reflects the priorities of local partners and “context sensitive solutions”.

In the Denver metropolitan area, CDOT is accelerating the replacement of bridges on I-70 and I-270 that fell into such substantial disrepair in past years that they regularly require emergency maintenance to repair holes. Just this week, the team broke ground on one of these bridges at I-70 and Harlan.  At the same time, CDOT is leading an unprecedented effort to consult with disproportionately impacted communities to expand capacity on I-270 in a manner sensitive to health and mobility needs.  And today’s action will accelerate Bus Rapid Transit investments in the Denver area that respond to resounding local feedback requesting more multimodal choices. The success of new transit offerings like the Pegasus service, which has served an average of 201 passenger trips per weekend in its first months (equivalent to four full Bustang coaches), shows that the demand exists for high-quality options that save passengers drive time and gas costs.

In CDOT’s Southwest region, the Ten Year Plan includes completing the interchange project at Highways 550-160, improving rural roads in places like Lake City and Creede, and making long-needed safety and resiliency repairs to regional arterials like the stretch of Highway 160 near Pagosa Springs and parts of U.S. 285 that are experiencing significant increases in traffic flow, and helping communities like Pagosa Springs and Alamosa grow and improve their downtowns to support quality of life and local businesses.

These are just a few examples of what delivering the Ten-Year Plan means to Coloradans in communities across the state.

The announcement follows a series of milestones following the initial adoption of the 10-Year Plan; including:

The next set of projects also positions CDOT for another record year of construction. CDOT’s current forecast predicts $960 milling in contractor payments, including $110 million through the state’s Bridge and Tunnel Enterprise. Notably, these investments include both the Ten-Year Plan strategic capital investments, on top of baseline investments in basic maintenance and infrastructure repairs each year, and together comprise record-sized construction programs.

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