Road and Highway Construction Plan Expected to Take a $250 Million Hit in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Transportation might be building fewer roads than they had originally planned after the coronavirus recedes. A few projects already underway have been able to speed up.

April 21, 2020, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Colorado Interstate

Construction on Interstate 70 in Colorado, pictured in January 2019. | photo-denver / Shutterstock

"Big highway projects along the Front Range have taken advantage of the unprecedented weeks-long lull in traffic set off by the coronavirus pandemic by speeding up some work," reports Jon Murray.

The lack of automobile traffic in Colorado has accelerated construction on the Central 70 project in northeast Denver and the I-25 South Gap project, among others, reports Murray, but the numerous other projects are at-risk of losing necessary funds as drivers stay off the roads and leave gas tax revenues on empty in the state. 

Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Shoshana Lew presented a preview of budgetary challenges to come for road projects in the state at a recent meeting of the Colorado Transportation Commission. 

"Suddenly at risk are big-ticket projects on Interstate 70 in the mountains, including a notorious bottleneck at Floyd Hill, as well as widening work along sections of Interstate 25 along the Front Range and an overhaul of Interstate 270 in metro Denver," writes Murray to explain the at-risk projects.

Lew described a total of $250 million in projected hits to Colorado's planned projects over the next three years—just a few months removed from the Colorado Transportation Commission's November 2019 approval of a $1.6 billion project list for CDOT, described by Murray as "the most substantial funded road plan in years."

Concern about road and highway construction funding has already been expressed in Missouri, as well.

Monday, April 20, 2020 in The Denver Post

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