The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) revealed its multi-year plan for the state’s highway system, which focuses on finding and securing resources between now and 2040.
The Statewide Transportation Plan aims to increase mobility, and enhance safety and economic needs. One obstacle that remains a work in progress for Colorado, is addressing the $800 million gap between CDOT’s annual budget and the cost of operating, maintaining and improving roadways.
“Like many other states, Colorado needs to explore funding options and finance mechanisms to stretch dollars further, replace declining gas tax revenues, and reduce dependency on uncertain federal funding,” said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT’s executive director.
To fund the plan, CDOT is looking for a private partner to for the $1.17 billion I-70 project. If approved, drivers may also be paying higher tolls fro I-25 express lanes.
Colorado’s long-term investment in its transportation systems reflects not only, the growing recognition of the importance of preserving and upgrading roadways but also states developing detailed plans to ensure these changes take place.
The plan includes several goals and plans to achieve them:
- Data-driven processes to reduce crashes, as well as education programs aimed at changing drivers’ behavior, to reduce the number of people who die on the state roads.
- Improvement of operational efficiencies both regionally and on individual travel corridors, as well as using managed lanes — such as HOV lanes and tolled express lanes — to reduce traffic jams.
- Consideration of economic benefits when choosing projects to spend money on, as well as alternative sources of money to pay for the projects. The potential economic benefits could cover job creation, job access and economic savings.
- Utilization of a risk-based asset management plan, which focuses more on pro-active maintenance
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