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Colorado Receives $90M in INFRA Grants

Tue July 03, 2018 - West Edition #14
Colorado Department of Transportation


Colorado will use $90M in INFRA Grants toward improvements to the I-25 South Gap project in Douglas and El Paso counties and a shoulder Express Lane on Interstate 70 Westbound in Clear Creek County.
Colorado will use $90M in INFRA Grants toward improvements to the I-25 South Gap project in Douglas and El Paso counties and a shoulder Express Lane on Interstate 70 Westbound in Clear Creek County.

On June 5, CDOT Executive Director Michael Lewis announced Colorado will greatly benefit from $90 million in federal grants that complete funding to improve two vital transportation corridors in the state. The funding comes from the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation. El Paso County received $65 million that will go toward improvements to the I-25 South Gap project in Douglas and El Paso counties, and CDOT received $25 million that will help fund a shoulder Express Lane on Interstate 70 Westbound in Clear Creek County.

“Senators Bennet, Gardner and the rest of the Congressional Delegation stepped up to ensure that Colorado received awards for two critical transportation projects,” said Mike Lewis, executive director of CDOT.

“The public has made transportation a priority and through robust partnerships with local jurisdictions and other stakeholders, we will save lives and increase travel reliability by delivering these projects. The administration clearly sees the commitment of Coloradans to their transportation system and the innovative methods by which we are delivering critical projects.”

I-25 South Gap

The preferred alternative is widening an 18-mi. segment of I-25 from Monument to Castle Rock by adding an express lane in each direction. Following more than a year of study from the planning and environmental linkages process and the environmental assessment, CDOT found this option would best meet the project's purpose and need to improve safety, travel reliability and mobility.

Express lanes provide a level of travel reliability that other options do not. Motorists will always have a choice to either take the two general purpose lanes for free or travel the express lane, one in each direction, for a variable toll. Tolls would be higher during peak travel times and lower during non-peak times to ensure the choice of a free-flowing lane. Travel times will improve across all lanes.

More importantly, the project will widen shoulders, build additional wildlife crossings and make other improvements that will help to save lives.

CDOT is on track to begin construction by late summer of this year.

The $65 million INFRA grant completes the $350 million funding needed to build the project.

Funding sources:

  • $250 million — state
  • $35 million — El Paso and Douglas counties
  • $65 million — INFRA grant
I-70 Westbound Peak Period Shoulder Lane

A project team is studying a proposal to build an express lane on a 12-mi. stretch of westbound I-70 in the mountains (between Empire Junction and the Veterans Memorial Tunnels), similar to the existing I-70 Peak Period Shoulder Lane on eastbound I-70. The team plans to complete the study — a National Environmental Policy Act process — in fall 2018. Construction is planned to begin in late spring or summer 2019.

The $25 million INFRA grant completes the $80 million in funding needed to build the project.