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Colorado Ballot: 'Fix Our Damn Roads'

Wed September 26, 2018 - West Edition #20
Lori Tobias – CEG CorrespondEnt


Coloradans will vote on seven ballot measures, two of which are expected to significantly improve transportation around the state if passed.
Coloradans will vote on seven ballot measures, two of which are expected to significantly improve transportation around the state if passed.

Coloradans will vote on seven ballot measures in the upcoming November election, two of which are expected to significantly improve transportation around the state if passed.

Proposition 110 (formerly Initiative 153 or “Let's Go Colorado”) would increase the state sales tax by .62 cents to increase transportation investment, sunsetting in 20 years. If passed, the proposal would raise up to $767 million in the first year, allowing the state to bond up to $6 billion.

Funds would be allocated as follows: 45 percent to state highways; 20 percent to city transportation needs; 20 percent to county transportation needs and 15 percent to transit, bicycle and pedestrian uses.

Originally known as the “Fix Our Damn Roads,” initiative, Proposition 109 (formerly initiative 167) would dedicate existing general funds to increase the state transportation investment, raising $3.5 billion in bonding authority to be paid back over 20 years. The proposition lists projects totaling $5.6 billion, with plans for the Transportation Commission to scale the list back to $3.5 billion in projects.

The Proposition lists more than 60 projects around the state that would be funded if the ballot measure passes.

They include:

In the North Front Range region:

  • Interchange reconfiguration to U.S. 34 and U.S. 85, as well as improvements to the safety and capacity of the interchange and corridor improvement based on Highway 85 planning and environment linkages;
  • A new lane in each direction on I-25 North from State Highway 7 to State Highway 14, as well as mainline reconstruction, safety and intelligent transportation improvements;

In the Pikes Peak Transportation region:

  • State Highway 21 Constitution to N. Carefree, construction of interim continuous flow intersection;
  • U.S. 24 West, I-25 to Woodland Park, drainage and intersection improvements;
  • I-25 South, widening S. Academy to Circle/Lake, widening of the roadway to six lanes;
  • State Highway 21, Research Parkway Interchange, construction of new grade-separated interchange at State Highway 21 and Research Parkway;

In the Pueblo region:

  • U.S. 50B, widening to four lanes with shoulders, passing lanes and other safety improvements to the Kansas border;
  • U.S. 50, west of Pueblo, widen the divided highway from two lanes to three lanes;

In the Upper Front Range region:

  • Phase 4 and 5 reconstruction of I-76 and interchanges between Fort Morgan and Brush;
  • Reconstruction of the State Highway 52 Interchange in Hudson;

In the Greater Denver Area:

  • Expand capacity of I-25 South from Monument to Castle Rock;
  • Complete Alameda Interchange on I-25 Central, including reconstruction of Lipan, the Alameda Bridge over the South Platte and finalize ramp reconfiguration;
  • Replace bridges and interchanges and roadway widening on I-25, from Santa Fe to Bronco Arch for congestion relief, safety and mobility improvements;
  • Roadway widening on U.S. 85, from C-470 to I-25 in Castle Rock;
  • Widening, safety and intersection improvements on State Highway 66 Corridor Improvements West;
  • Expansion of State Highway 119;
  • Improvements on I-25 North from U.S. 36 to 120th, potentially including auxiliary lanes, an additional lane between 84th Avenue and the Thornton Parkway and reconstruction of the 88th Avenue bridge;
  • Expand tolled express lanes on I-25 North between U.S. 36 and State Highway 7;
  • Reconstruct westbound bridge on I-70 West at Kermit's and construction a third lane from Floyd Hill to the bridge;
  • I-225, I-25 to Yosemite, complete National Environmental Policy Act Design, removing bottleneck at Yosemite, and ramps, lanes, interchanges and bridge replacement at Ulster;
  • Widen I-270 from I-76 to I-70;
  • Reconstruct the Wadsworth Interchange on U.S. 6;
  • Reconstruct the I-270 Interchange at 60th Avenue;

In the Central Front Range region:

  • Addition of passing lanes and shoulder improvements on U.S. 285 from Fairplay to Richmond Hill;
  • Widen Rock Bridge on State Highway 115;

In the Intermountain region:

  • Upgrade the I-70 Garfield County/New Castle interchange;
  • I-70 West, Vail Pass Auxiliary Lanes and Wildlife Overpass, complete National Environmental Policy Act Design and preliminary engineering for a third lane in both directions;
  • Improvements and upgrades on I-70 West at Exit 203, Frisco to Silverthorne auxiliary lanes and Silverthorne and Exit 205 interchanges;

In the Northwest region:

  • Addition of 14 mi. of shoulders and passing lanes on U.S. 40, Kremmling East and West;
  • Reconstruction of truck route and related improvements on State Highway 13, Wyoming South;
  • U.S. 40, Fraser to Winter Park, capacity improvements;

In the Grand Valley region:

  • I-70, business loop, I-70B widening, complete reconstruction and widening to meet current geometric design standards and improve safety, drainage and accesses along the corridor; add lanes in each direction;
  • U.S. 6 improvements, Mesa County, including completion of intersection studies, preliminary engineering for safety and mobility throughout the corridor; intersection, shoulders and other safety and mobility improvements at specified locations;

In the Eastern region:

  • I-70 East, replacement of Alkali-Silica pavement and association safety improvements;
  • U.S. 385, safety improvements;

In the Southwest region:

  • U.S. 160, mobility and corridor improvements, passing lanes and shoulder widening;
  • U.S. 160 Towaoc, addition of passing lanes and vehicle turnouts;
  • U.S. 550 South, Sunnyside, major reconstruction requiring widening to a four-lane roadway, including earthwork, drainage, irrigation, utilities, paving, pedestrian bridge, sound wall and animal crossing;
  • U.S. 550/U.S.160 Connection, finalize pre-construction, purchase required right-of-way, complete final design and prepare advertisement; and

In the Gunnison Valley region:

  • U.S. 50 Little Blue Canyon, reconstruction and widening of existing roadway template to meet current geometric design standards and improve roadside safety, drainage and access, addition of passing lanes and mitigation of geohazard landslide within project limits.

According to CDOT, there is a $1 billion transportation funding shortfall annually. The gas tax, CDOT's primary funding source, hasn't changed since 1991. Forty percent of the tax goes to cities and counties for local roads. CDOT receives 36 percent of vehicle registration fees. “In total, average drivers in CO pay $211/year to fund transportation.”

CEG