Colorado Transportation Commission approves $238 million in funding to address critical statewide multimodal needs

News Release

July 16, 2021 - Statewide News - opens rulemaking on pollution reduction planning, welcomes new commissioners

DENVER - The Colorado Transportation Commission took several actions in the first meeting following the passage of Senate Bill 260, including the approval of $238 million in transportation needs and the opening of a planning rule to establish a pollution reduction planning standard. Newly-appointed commissioners Mark Garcia of Pagosa Springs and Terry Hart of Pueblo were sworn in and participated.  Yessica Houglin has also been appointed to represent Denver and will join the Commission at their August meeting.

The $238 million approved today will fund repairs and improvements to critical transportation needs across the state. Funding will go toward critical improvements to the I-70 Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels, various stretches of Interstate 25 in Colorado Springs and Interstate 76 near Sterling as well as other projects in Colorado. Funding will also benefit transit by building mobility hubs along north I-25 and expanding the Bustang intercity bus service. A complete list of projects is at the end of the release.

“Colorado’s historic transportation legislation is shifting into high gear, with $238 million in funding going toward fixing our roads, helping our economy, and delivering needed improvements to our infrastructure,” said Governor Polis. “This new bipartisan law is beginning to take hold, improving transportation for every Coloradan while addressing the economic threat of climate change. I look forward to seeing and supporting the transformative work of our newly-appointed commissioners.”

“The funding will address three essential priorities: fixing our assets, providing more multimodal options and improving safety and vitality of main streets,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “The projects reflect key priorities elevated as part of SB260 and will leverage stimulus funding provided by our legislature to accelerate our economic recovery. We also appreciate the transportation commission moving forward with pollution reduction planning in an expeditious manner that reflects the urgency of our state’s climate challenges and targets under HB 1261.” 

The $238 million is upfront funding included in the transportation funding bill, Senate Bill 260, Gov. Jared Polis signed into law last month. The bill is expected to raise about $5.4 billion over the next 10 years.

Funding will address the following priorities:

Fixing assets:

  • Critical repairs to the I-70 Eisenhower Tunnel, including building repairs, improved ventilation, upgrades to the aging groundwater collection and treatment system and replacing the emergency generator system.

  • Repair poor interstate pavement along 24 miles of I-76 near Sterling.

  • Improve safety and road conditions along CO 13 in northern Colorado by adding shoulders, drainage and wildlife underpass.

Providing more multimodal options:

  • Complete mobility hubs along I-25 north of Denver, allowing for fully functional bus rapid transit service on the corridor.

  • Expand Bustang service to Pueblo and Greeley, enhance frequency to the new mobility hubs and add more maintenance facilities.

  • Prepare for Bus Rapid Transit along CO 7 serving northern Denver communities by making multimodal investments identified in the ten year plan and prioritized in the Northern Area Mobility Study.

Improving safety and economic vitality of Main Streets:

  • Advance current work on main streets to improve travel and safety for all users. This includes strategic studies of community impacts of state highways that traverse Denver area neighborhoods, as well as working with local partners to determine best practices for downtown revitalization utilizing street space. 

  • Adding traffic calming and multimodal options  along US 160 in downtown Pagosa Springs in a manner that will create a “Complete Street.”

Project list for the $238 million funding:

Denver Metro Region

  • I-70 Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels repairs and maintenance - $50 million

  • I-70 noise wall replacements (complete wall replacement from N. Pecos Street to I-76 in Denver) - $20 million

  • I-70 Bustang Pegasus/Floyd Hill (fund Park-n-Ride improvements along I-70 to support the launch of Pegasus and I-70 Floyd Hill traffic mitigation efforts, project connects with the I-70 Floyd Hill project) - $2 million

  • I-25 and CO 7 interchange mobility hub - $12.5 million

  • I-25 Valley Highway (Burnham Yard) - $1.6 million

  • Safer Main Streets (urban arterials study and implementation of pilot projects) - $2.5 million

  • Bustang fleet purchases - $625,000

Southeast Colorado

  • I-25 operational improvements (Fillmore to Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs) - $40 million

  • I-25 South central storage maintenance facility - $700,000

  • CO 21 and Airport Road diverging diamond interchange design - $4 million

  • Colorado Springs downtown transit center - $1 million

  • Pueblo downtown transit center - $1 million

  • Bustang fleet purchases - $1.25 million

Northwestern Colorado

  • CO 13 GarCo RioBlanco Hill - $29 million

  • I-70B multimodal improvements - $8.6 million

Northeastern Colorado

  • I-76 improvements east of Sterling - $16.3 million

  • I-25 Firestone-Longmont mobility hub - $13 million

  • CO 7 corridor improvements (95th and State Highway 7 and multimodal preconstruction) - $13.4 million

  • Bustang fleet purchases - $625,000

  • Northern Colorado Bustang maintenance facility - $300,000

Southwestern Colorado

  • US 160 Aztec Creek resurfacing - $2 million

  • US 160 Pagosa reconstruction and multimodal improvements - $13.5 million

  • US 160 Trinchera Ranch safety and wildlife mitigation - $3.4 million

  • US 24 Buena Vista Park-n-Ride and intermodal facility - $440,000

In addition to approving projects, the Commission passed a resolution opening a public rulemaking process for pollution reduction planning standards that are a key part of implementation of the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Roadmap. Senate Bill 260 establishes aggressive deadlines for putting these policies in place, as a condition for recipients receiving certain funds pursuant to the Bill.  The Commission resolution recognizes this timeline and opens up the process, which will be followed by noticing a draft rule for robust public comment. The Commission Resolution calls for public hearings across the state once the draft rule is published. CDOT has published a concept paper that outlines key issues pertinent to the upcoming rulemaking. 

In other business, the commission this week welcomed three new members: Yessica Holguin, of Denver; Terry Hart, of Pueblo; and Mark Garcia, of Pagosa Springs.

Holguin, a native of the Swansea neighborhood in Denver, is the executive director of the Center for Community Wealth Building. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado Denver in business administration and a master's degree from the same institution in management and organization.

Hart, a former Pueblo County Commissioner, has also served on the Southwest Chief and Front Range Passenger Rail Commission. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from Southern Colorado State College and a law degree from the University of Colorado Boulder. 

Garcia is a consultant who has served as an administrator in multiple Colorado towns and cities. He is a former project manager for the City of Ouray and former director of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque.

For more information

Materials presented to the Transportation Commission regarding funding proposals and rulemaking can be found at the link here.

CDOT’s 10-year plan and supporting materials can be found here.

About the Colorado Transportation Commission 

The state's transportation system is managed by the Colorado Department of Transportation under the direction of the Transportation Commission of Colorado. The commission is composed of 11 commissioners who represent specific districts.

Each commissioner is appointed by the governor, confirmed by the Senate and serves a four-year term. To provide continuity, the commissioners' term expiration dates are staggered every two years.

About CDOT 

CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated inter-regional express service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s multimodal mobility options.