On August 10, 2005, President George W. Bush signed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, or SAFETEA-LU. SAFETEA-LU authorizes the Federal surface transportation programs for highways, highway safety, and transit for the 5-year period 2005-2009.

The SAFETEA-LU Transportation Act has earmarked funds available to be spent along the US 50 corridor from Pueblo to the vicinity of the Kansas state line. There are two earmarks along this corridor under the Act's Section 1702.

  • The first is project number 304:
    US 50 East, State Line to Pueblo for $6,000,000
  • The second is project number 3835:
    US 50 East, Pueblo to Kansas Border, Road Widening and improvements for $5,000,000

The Federal Highway Administration and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) plan to use a portion of these earmarked funds to add passing lanes along US 50 between Pueblo and Fowler (mile marker 338 or approximately 59th Lane to mile marker 341 or approximately ½ mile west of 62nd Lane) to improve safety.

The construction of these passing lanes is tentatively scheduled to begin during the summer of 2008. The project involves the construction of approximately 1.5 miles of passing lane in the eastbound direction and 1.5 miles in the westbound direction, which includes transition lengths. The project would be designed and constructed within the funding available according to the earmark and appropriations process.

US 50 Passing Lane Construction

Additionally, there is one earmark along this corridor under the Act's Section 1934.

  • This is project number 28: Improvements to Hwy 50 from Las Animas to Lamar for $12,000,000.

CDOT continues to explore how to best apply the funds earmarked by SAFETEA-LU for US 50 in a manner that ensures the most effective use of those dollars within federal guidelines. These funds must be committed and under contract by September 2009.

CDOT, in conjunction with its consultants, are currently conducting a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (Tier 1 EIS) for US 50 which will result in a general corridor location decision and highway facility type from Pueblo to the vicinity of the Kansas state line.

However, before any major improvements can be implemented along the corridor the preparation of several, separate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents, which could include Environmental Impact Statements; Environmental Assessments; orCategorical Exclusions for specific projects within the overall corridor must be completed. For a more detailed understanding of the NEPA process, please review CDOT's "Environmental Stewardship Guide.To obtain answers to general Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the US 50 project, please click here.