Programs

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 designated bridges as defined by SB-09-108. In spring 2009, when the FASTER legislation went into effect, 128 bridges were determined to be eligible for the program. An assessment is performed semi-annually to identify newly eligible structures.

What are the eligibility criteria for adding a structure to the Enterprise program?
Eligibility criteria is established by the Bridge Enterprise Board of Directors. Structures rated “poor” by CDOT are eligible for FASTER funding.

What is a “poor” structure?

The condition of different parts of a structure is rated on a scale of 0 to 9 (with 9 being “excellent” and zero being “failed”). Bridge condition is determined based on deck (riding surface), the superstructure (supports immediately beneath the driving surface) or the substructure (foundation and supporting posts and piers), or culvert ratings obtained from periodic structure inspections. The structure is classified as “poor” if the lowest rating is less than or equal to 4 out of 9.

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

How is "structural deficiency" determined?
Structures that have been rated as “poor” are classified as “structurally deficient”.

What is a "functionally obsolete" structure?
Functionally obsolete is a legacy classification that was used to implement the FHWA Highway Bridge Program, which was discontinued as of FFY2016

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 structures?
CDOT publishes a list of poor rated structures on the state highway system twice a year. 

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

What do you mean when you refer to a structure as "remaining"?
A "remaining" structure is classified as 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 structures 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 structures is greater than the funding available. What are CDOT’s plans to find funding for all the structures that need repair or replacement?
Bridge Enterprise has committed to repair and/or replace as many of the FASTER-eligible structures as possible based upon available funding resources. The Bridge Enterprise Board of Directors and CDOT continually investigate options to fund as many eligible structures as possible.

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