Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Bridge Enterprise Program?
The 2009 FASTER (Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery) legislation established the Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE), a government-owned business within the Colorado Department of Transportation. The purpose of the CBE is to finance, repair, reconstruct and replace bridges designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and rated “poor." In spring 2009, when the FASTER legislation went into effect, 128 bridges were determined to be eligible for the program.

What are the eligibility criteria for adding a bridge to the Enterprise program?
The eligibility requirements are established by the Bridge Enterprise Board of Directors. FASTER eligible bridges must be structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and rated “poor” by CDOT. A “poor” rated structure has a sufficiency rating less than 50.

What does bridge sufficiency rating mean? 
CDOT uses a national sufficiency rating formula to evaluate a bridge’s sufficiency to remain in service. This formula generates a percentage-based sufficiency rating: 100 percent represents an entirely sufficient bridge and 0 percent represents an entirely insufficient or deficient bridge. The sufficiency rating is never less than 0 or more than 100.

What is a "structurally deficient" bridge?
Structurally deficient means there are elements of the bridge that need to be monitored and/or repaired. The fact that a bridge is "structurally deficient" does not imply that it is likely to collapse or that it is unsafe. It means the bridge must be monitored, inspected and repaired/replaced at an appropriate time to maintain its structural integrity. To remain open to traffic, structurally deficient bridges may be posted, if necessary, with reduced weight limits that restrict the gross weight of vehicles using the bridges. If unsafe conditions are identified during a physical inspection, the structure must be closed.

How is "structural deficiency" determined?
The condition of different parts of a bridge is rated on a scale of 0 to 9 (with 9 being “excellent” and zero being “failed”). A structurally deficient bridge is one for which the deck (riding surface), the superstructure (supports immediately beneath the driving surface) or the substructure (foundation and supporting posts and piers) are rated in condition 4 or less.

What is a "functionally obsolete" bridge?
A functionally obsolete bridge is a structure that was built to standards that are not used today. These bridges are not automatically rated as structurally deficient, nor are they inherently unsafe. Functionally obsolete bridges are those that do not have adequate lane widths, shoulder widths, or vertical clearances to serve current traffic demand or to meet the current geometric standards, or those that may be occasionally overtopped by flood waters.

How are projects prioritized?
Per the program procedural directive adopted by the Bridge Enterprise Board of Directors, CDOT conducts an assessment of all FASTER-eligible bridges based upon a multitude of criteria (e.g. ability to complete design and construction in an accelerated amount of time; cost-effectiveness and program efficiencies on packaging [companion, geography, bridge type, etc.] of bridges, project readiness, and resource availability).

How often does CDOT update its list of poor bridges?
CDOT publishes a list of poor rated structures on the state highway system twice a year. 

How many bridges are in the FASTER bridge enterprise program now?
This number fluctuates as additional bridges become eligible when the list of poor bridges is updated. Visit the CBE home page to find the most current information on the number of bridges in the program.

What do you mean when you refer to a bridge as "remaining"?
A "remaining" bridge is classified as a bridge eligible to receive FASTER funding but has not been programmed and/or budgeted. Although these structures are eligible for Bridge Enterprise funding they are not scheduled to be designed or constructed by Bridge Enterprise. This status may change at any time.

I thought the FASTER bridge program was funded by vehicle registration charges.  How does this relate to the $300 million bond program I see mentioned?
The 2009 FASTER legislation created a vehicle registration bridge safety surcharge ranging from $13 to $32, based on vehicle weight.  In addition, by creating an enterprise, the legislation established the authority to issue revenue bonds. In 2010 the Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE) issued $300 million in bonds. A key advantage of bonding is that it allows CBE to accelerate the completion of multiple bridges in a compressed amount of time.  Without bonding, the CBE‘s work would be limited to the funding available from the yearly collection of bridge safety surcharge (or registration) fees.

It appears the list of bridges is greater than the funding available. What are CDOT’s plans to find funding for all the bridges that need repair or replacement?
Bridge Enterprise has committed to repair and/or replace as many of the FASTER-eligible bridges as possible based upon available funding resources. The Bridge Enterprise Board of Directors and CDOT continually investigate options to fund as many eligible bridges as possible.

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