Improving Our Interstates

Colorado’s interstates are the backbone of our transportation system. They are key to Colorado’s economy — connecting goods and people across our state and region.

However, as Colorado’s population and economy continue to grow, our interstates are feeling the pinch. I-25 and I-270 are crippled by congestion for long stretches of the day. Along I-70 West, worsening traffic — especially on the weekends — aligns with a host of concerns about extreme weather and accommodating passenger vehicles, freight, bicyclists and wildlife. I-70 East and I-76 — key freight routes for the state — are in need of major pavement improvements due to years of deferred maintenance.

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The 10-Year Strategic Project Pipeline invests $1.2 billion (37.5 percent of all funding) into improving the condition and efficiency of these corridors. That means rebuilding pavement on I-70 East and I-76, delivering extra capacity and options on I-25 North, and tackling congestion bottlenecks across I-70 West.

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Traffic congestion — just the extra travel time and wasted fuel in slow conditions — costs Colorado $3.6 billion each year.

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Every year, the average commuter in Colorado:

  • Spends 2 days sitting in traffic
  • Loses $900 due to delays
  • Burns an extra 19 gallons of gas

25 percent of Colorado’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector. 188 million hours of lost time for commuters and travelers and delivery delays for businesses and shipping companies. 38 million gallons of fuel wasted that represent direct costs to travelers and the environment.

Years 1-4 Highlights

Nearly 40% of funds targeted toward corridor-wide modernization of I-25, which carries roughly 85 percent of the state’s population.

Other major capacity projects include a down payment towards fixing Floyd Hill, a well-known choke-point on I-70, a long overdue rebuild and widening of I-270, and a first phase of reconstruction along I-25 in Pueblo.

Years 5-10 Highlights

$1.2 billion (or 38%) of the total unfunded project list dedicated to the improvement of Colorado interstates.

Projects continue work on our most congested corridors while also reconstructing pavement along rural stretches of I-70, I-25 and I-76. Many sections of these interstates haven’t seen significant work since they were first opened to the public decades ago.