Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Paired with Colorado’s Own Historic Infrastructure Investment will Repair Roads, Bridges, Help Our Economy and Address Climate Issues

November 15, 2021 - Statewide News

WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, Governor Polis was invited by President Biden to join a bipartisan group of lawmakers, officials and Americans at the signing ceremony of the new bipartisan federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This new bipartisan law complements Colorado’s significant and historic accomplishments to achieve sustainable transportation that lead the nation in multiple areas. This summer, Governor Polis signed the bipartisan Senate Bill 260, package establishing a holistic framework for clean transportation and fixing our infrastructure. 

“I’m thrilled to join the signing of the historic bipartisan infrastructure bill. This important action means jobs and better roads along with a strong initial package to improve air quality and make progress on climate issues. This new law, matched with Colorado’s own strong bipartisan infrastructure package that I was proud to sign this year, will help fix our roads, reduce traffic, invest in Front Range Rail, and protect our air and water,” said Gov. Polis. “Colorado’s bipartisan infrastructure investment positions us well to benefit from new federal money from the federal bipartisan infrastructure law.”

Governor Polis was one of the first governors in the country to support this new federal law.

“We are thrilled to see the federal government complement what we already have underway in Colorado,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “Our state has already passed historic legislation that establishes sustainable revenue for the future and both fixes our roads and bridges and puts our state miles ahead of the curve on issues like accelerating electrification, providing more consumer choice as we plan our infrastructure in ways that are cleaner, and tackling air quality especially in those places hit hardest by pollution from transportation and other sources. Federal resources will augment Colorado’s cutting edge efforts.”

"The historic investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the bipartisan infrastructure package are essential to building a national network of charging stations to make electric vehicles a viable choice for all drivers,” said Colorado Energy Office Executive Director Will Toor. “Here in Colorado, this will complement our own plans to invest a half a billion dollars in EV infrastructure all across our state."

Colorado would expect to receive close to a billion dollars above baseline levels $ion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs over five years under the newly signed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act over five years. More information on the new law. 

Major Colorado Infrastructure Achievements include:

  • Establishing sustainable revenue sources that account for how all users of cars and trucks interface with the transportation system today. This makes sure everyone pays their fair share and sets up Colorado for a stable funding stream as we rapidly transition away from traditional fossil fueled vehicles;

  • Putting Colorado on track to deliver the Polis administration’s ten year capital plan to fix Colorado’s roads, bridges, and multimodal system. Colorado is already well underway towards delivering record fixes to rural roads and bridges as well as flagship projects like Floyd Hill, Vail Pass, backlogged repairs to the Eisenhower Tunnel, and key segments of I-25 that include both roads and rapid bus infrastructure.  These projects will improve safety, reduce congestion as the state grows, and incorporate more transit options so consumers have choices.  The funding from the federal package is expected to accelerate completion of our ten year plan by several years.

  • Making record investment in Colorado’s transition to electric vehicles. Colorado is already a leader on the electric vehicle transition, with a history of robust consumer incentives, large utility investments in EV charging infrastructure, and having been the first state in the nation to adopt zero emission vehicle standards with support from associations representing 99% of auto manufacturers.  EV sales in Colorado are growing rapidly, with recent monthly sales close to triple pre COVID levels. Senate Bill 260 built on this progress by investing three quarters of a billion  dollars in strengthening our EV infrastructure and accelerating fleet transition in an equitable way.  Governor Polis has also proposed investing $150 million in next year’s budget to convert to electric school buses, and $12 million for rebates for electric bicycles.

  • Establishing a first-its-kind enterprise fund specifically to advance clean transportation options and clean air in areas where Coloradans suffer from the most severe air pollution in the state.  This fund, focused on areas designated as being out of attainment with the Clean Air Act, is a significant step towards recognizing the disproportionate impacts of pollution in parts of Colorado’s front range, and taking action to improve equity and environmental justice.

  • Strengthening multimodal and transit options for state and local partners. Senate Bill 260 invests hundreds of millions of dollars in a multimodal and mitigation options fund that provides flexible dollars to local partners to expand choice for transit and active transportation, as well as dollars for statewide investments such as the state augments multimodal options like expanding bus rapid transit across the state system.

  • Expanding Colorado’s successful “Revitalizing Main Streets” program, which has already supported more than 100 communities all across Colorado. This oversubscribed program has helped local partners on every corner of the state to implement innovative enhancements that make their downtowns safe and economically vibrant for active transportation— these range from helping businesses utilize outdoor space for safe commerce during COVID, to strengthening pedestrian and transit connections, to improving lighting in downtown areas. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act creates several programs that mirror Colorado’s leadership in supporting these kinds of investments. 

  • Tasking the state to advance a first in the nation effort to establish pollution reduction planning standards for transportation infrastructure.  Senate Bill 260 called for new standards to ensure that we consider how government  infrastructure planning choices impact the options available to consumers. This policy requires transportation plans to show that they will reduce greenhouse gas pollution, which will will push government to provide more sustainable options like better transit, sidewalks, and bicycle  lanes when we plan major infrastructure projects.

  • Creating important institutional changes to strengthen clean transportation, equity, and our supply chain.  Senate Bill 260 establishes a series of new enterprise boards focused on clean transportation, as well as two new branches at the Colorado Department of Transportation focused on equity and freight policy. And other legislation passed in 2021 starts the process for collecting information, and then setting standards, to reduce the embodied carbon in construction materials used in transportation projects.

Know Before You Go 

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.