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Source : Wikimedia Commons
September 7, 2022
Author : Alex Bustillos
Colorado roads are all set to get revamped because the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is updating its 10-Year Plan to prioritize projects for the first years of sustained funding from SB 21-260. The lion's share of the funding will go into upgrading the rural roads to help connect smaller communities across the state.
Maintenance of the current system, rural paving, increasing transit, and installing mobility hubs along Colorado's most congested highway routes are all still top priorities. They will continue to be for the next decade according to the new 10-Year Plan.
"As we traveled the state to hear from neighbors at the very beginning of the 10 Year Plan's development, we heard loud and clear how important it was to reinvest in our rural roads," explained CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “Across the state, citizens can see completed projects that together comprise record investment in rural roads, and we look forward to the continuation of this important program with the next phase of the Ten Year Plan.”
At its September meeting, the Colorado Transportation Commission is scheduled to discuss and adopt the amended Plan, which will also bring the state's transportation plans into compliance with its greenhouse gas planning standards. The first four years of the 10-Year Plan provided approximately $382 million to enhance the rural pavement condition and 55 counties. What’s clear is that rural roads are a top priority for CDOT, allocating nearly $940 million to them throughout the Plan.
As a comparison, CDOT's base funding programs, such as its asset management program, already spent an estimated $230 million each year on road resurfacing across the state. With the help of the 10-Year Plan, CDOT is giving Colorado's low-traffic roads the care and maintenance they need to be dependable community connectors. In addition to facilitating the transport of agricultural and other essential supplies, these roadways also facilitate the movement of motorists.
CDOT's Rural Paving Program accounts for 25% of the amount programmed through CDOT's "strategic funding". The funding is comprised mainly of debt proceeds obtained through Certificates of Participation under Senate Bill 17-267 in the first four years. Federal funds provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) combined with state funds make these projects possible.
Transportation Commission Chair Don Stanton said, "During past months, the Transportation Commission has advocated for, and ensured that asset management and maintenance of the state’s transportation infrastructure are given priority in 10-year planning and other budget discussions. We have made rural paving a key focus area, are monitoring spending closely, and are proud that more funds are being put toward this key priority program."