Discretionary Grants Will Help Complete the Widening of I-225 and Improve the I-70/Pecos Street Interchange

August 24, 2011 - STATEWIDE – The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently announced that Colorado is receiving $7.6 million in grants for two critical projects in the Denver metro area.

One project will reduce congestion on I-225 by completing the widening of this Interstate and the second project will improve safety and mobility at the I-70/Pecos Street interchange.

“Given the economic challenges we are facing today, we are thrilled to receive any additional funding to help improve our infrastructure,” said Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Don Hunt.  “All of these projects will improve Colorado’s transportation system while providing business and job opportunities.”

Below are details on the I-225 widening project and the Pecos Street over I-70 interchange improvement project:

  • I-225 between Parker Road and Mississippi Avenue: This project will reconstruct and widen three miles of I-225 in concrete to accommodate three lanes in each direction with auxiliary lanes. This will complete the widening of the entire 12-mile stretch of I-225 between I-25 and I-70, reducing congestion along this busy Interstate.  Currently, this stretch of I-225 carries 203,757 vehicles a day. The $45 million project is receiving approximately $3.8 million in federal grants.  Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012 and will be combined with the extension of light rail to Iliff Avenue by the Regional Transportation District.
  • Pecos Street over I-70: This project will replace the poor bridge on Pecos Street over I-70 and improve traffic operations of the Pecos Street/I-70 interchange.  When complete, the interchange will have two roundabouts at each end of the bridge to help improve safety and mobility. I-70 near Pecos carries approximately 120,000 vehicles a day and Pecos Street over I-70 carries approximately 19,150 vehicles a day.  One of the goals in constructing the improvements is to minimize delays and reduce the length of the project by using innovative construction techniques. More information about the construction innovations will be released once the details are finalized. The $18 million project is receiving about $3.8 million in federal grants and the remainder of the project will be funded by the Colorado Bridge Enterprise, which uses a portion of vehicle registration fees to replace poor bridges. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012.

In all, FHWA awarded $417.3 million in grants nationwide, but received $13 billion worth of grant requests, which is more than 30 times the funds available. Colorado is receiving a total of $15 million for 13 projects with funding going to CDOT and local agencies.

Congress created the discretionary grant programs to give FHWA the latitude to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable. In previous years, Congress designated some of this grant money for specific projects and FHWA awarded the remainder through a competitive process. Because the Fiscal Year 2011 budget passed by Congress last April directed that all such funds be discretionary, FHWA awarded these funds through a competitive process.