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Colorado Advances $1.7B in Transportation Funding Over Next Five Years

DENVER, CO — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) announces $1.7 billion in projects set to deliver the next phase of the department’s 10 Year Plan after the Colorado Transportation Commission adopted a major update to the plan. This funding builds on $2.2 billion in previous 10 Year Plan capital investments, many of which are now complete and well underway. CDOT’s 10 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 recently approved 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,” Gov. Polis said. “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 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 No. 1 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.”

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I-70 Floyd Hill and the continued expansion of I-25 North — which will complete all I-25 North segments included in the 10 Year Plan — are among the largest projects set to move forward in a list that also continues the successful rural road improvement program; investment of 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 10 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 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 and the intersection of Airport and Powers Boulevard, which the recent announcement moves forward. These projects complement 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 10 Year Plan established unprecedented collaboration between CDOT and the military installations in the region, through the Military Access Mobility, Safety and Improvement Project.

On the Western Slope, recently completed 10 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 recently announced will complement.

On the I-70 mountain corridor, projects that are recently completed, ongoing, and advancing through the 10 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.

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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. A team recently 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. CDOT's recent action will also accelerate Bus Rapid Transit investments in the Denver area that respond to local feedback requesting more multimodal choice.

In CDOT’s Southwest region, the 10 Year Plan includes completing the interchange project at Highways 550-160, improving rural roads in places like Lake City and Creede, making 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.

The next set of projects also positions CDOT for another record year of construction. CDOT’s current forecast predicts $960 million in contractor payments, including $110 million through the state’s Bridge and Tunnel Enterprise. Notably, these investments include both the 10 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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