Transportation

Five Years of Road Construction Delays for Metro Denver Drivers

The Colorado Department of Transportation's updated ten-year plan was released on September 15.
The Colorado Department of Transportation's updated ten-year plan was released on September 15. Colorado Department of Transportation
On September 15, the Colorado Department of Transportation celebrated the approval of $1.7 billion in funding after its updated ten-year plan was okayed by the Transportation Commission of Colorado. The windfall will be added to an estimated $2.2 billion in previous capital investments associated with a dizzying array of projects, including several — Central 70, I-25 North and the I-25 South Gap among them — that are in varying stages of construction and completion, plus plenty more earmarked for the future.

According to CDOT, the plan as a whole "provides a statewide list of priority transportation projects compiled through the most expansive and inclusive planning and outreach effort ever undertaken. It fixes roads and bridges, making the largest investment in rural roads in modern Colorado history, and advances multimodal investments that expand choice for Coloradans."

Cash for the latest set of projects will come from the final year of legislative financing granted by Senate Bill 17-267, originally titled "Concerning the Sustainability of Rural Colorado," as well as a more recent measure, Senate Bill 21-260, known as "Sustainability of the Transportation System." More funds are being supplied by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and a $100 million grant to improve the I-70 mountain corridor in the vicinity of Floyd Hill. The latest tweaks also incorporate new greenhouse-gas pollution-reduction planning standards established by the state transportation commission last December.

This last factor is among many touted by Colorado Communities for Climate Action, an advocacy organization that's backing the plan — but not everyone's cheering. For instance, the decision to set aside a previously floated proposal for widening I-25 through Denver in favor of adding bus-only lanes on Colfax and Federal, two of Denver's most dangerous streets, and Colorado Boulevard frosts Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl, who knocked the notion at a press conference outside CDOT's offices on September 15. An announcement of her own transportation plan boasts that it will "actually fix the damn roads" — a play on a comment Governor Jared Polis made in support of last year's transportation bill.

The following rundown outlines 27 projects from the ten-year-plan in what CDOT has designated as the state's "central" region — the area in and around Denver. Included are total estimated costs, total strategic funding, the amounts designated for each from 2019 to 2027, and the current status of the projects.

Interstate 25 projects

Castle Rock Mobility Hub
Total estimated projected cost: $30 million
Total strategic funding: $13.47 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $10.5 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: $2.97
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: N/A

Lone Tree Mobility Hub
Total estimated projected cost: $20 million
Total strategic funding: $10 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $10 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: N/A

I-25 North between 84th Avenue and 104th Avenue
Total estimated projected cost: TBD
Total strategic funding: $110 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $4 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: $160 million
Planned physical year 2027: $90 million
Project status: N/A

I-25 South Gap
Total estimated projected cost: $419 million
Total strategic funding: $278 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $278 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: Currently under construction/in progress

I-25 Interchange Reconstruction at Speer Boulevard and 23rd Avenue
Total estimated projected cost: $75 million
Total strategic funding: $15 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $3.5 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: $11.5 million
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: N/A

I-25 and CO 7 Interchange Mobility Hub
Total estimated projected cost: $14 million
Total strategic funding: $14 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $14 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: N/A

I-25 at Belleview Avenue Interchange — Phase 1
Total estimated projected cost: $110 million
Total strategic funding: $22 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: N/A
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: $22 million
Project status: N/A

I-25 Central Non-Capacity Safety and Operational Improvements
Total estimated projected cost: TBD
Total strategic funding: $35 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: N/A
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: $35 million
Project status: N/A

Burnham Yard Acquisition
Total estimated projected cost: $50 million
Total strategic funding: $16.6 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $16.6 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: Completed

Interstate 70 projects

I-70/Harlan Bridge Replacement
Total estimated projected cost: $25.6 million
Total strategic funding: $21.9 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $21.9 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: Planned construction for 2022

I-70 Corridor-West Metro Bridges
Total estimated projected cost: $67 million
Total strategic funding: $35.2 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $35.2 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: Planned construction for 2022

I-70 Peak Period Shoulder Lanes
Total estimated projected cost: $105 million
Total strategic funding: $80 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $80 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: Currently under construction/in progress

I-70 West: Floyd Hill
Total estimated projected cost: $700 million
Total strategic funding: $340 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $191.8 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: $148.2 million
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: N/A

Idaho Springs Mobility Hub
Total estimated projected cost: $8.43 million
Total strategic funding: $6.33 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $6.33 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: N/A

I-70 and Kipling Street Interchange
Total estimated projected cost: $70 million
Total strategic funding: $30 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $2.5 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: $27.5 million
Project status: N/A

I-70 Climbing Lane from Bakerville to the Eisenhower Tunnel
Total estimated projected cost: $32 million
Total strategic funding: $25 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: N/A
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: $25 million
Project status: N/A

Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel Repairs and Maintenance
Total estimated projected cost: $150 million
Total strategic funding: $50 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $50 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: Planned for construction in 2022

I-70 Escape Ramp Improvements
Total estimated projected cost: $29 million
Total strategic funding: $13 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $13 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: Planned for construction in 2022

I-70 Bustang Pegasus Park-n-Rides
Total estimated projected cost: $12 million
Total strategic funding: $12 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $4 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: $3 million
Planned physical year 2027: $5 million
Project status: N/A

Interstate 270 projects

I-270 Improvements and Congestion Relief from I-76 to I-70
Total estimated projected cost: $600 million
Total strategic funding: $200 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $30 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: $144.5 million
Planned physical year 2027: $25.5 million
Project status: N/A

US 6 projects

Vasquez Boulevard Improvements
Total estimated projected cost: $22 million
Total strategic funding: $10 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: N/A
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: $10 million
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: N/A

US 6 and Wadsworth Boulevard Interchange
Total estimated projected cost: $135 million
Total strategic funding: $60 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: $40 million
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: $20 million
Planned physical year 2027: N/A
Project status: N/A

US 85 projects

US 85 Corridor Improvements between Sedalia and Meadows Parkway in Castle Rock
Total estimated projected cost: $58 million
Total strategic funding: $37 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: N/A
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: $37 million
Project status: N/A

US 285 projects

US 285 Corridor Improvements near Pine Junction
Total estimated projected cost: TBD
Total strategic funding: $60 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: N/A
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: $60 million
Project status: N/A

CO 7 projects

CO 7 Priority Intersection Improvements
Total estimated projected cost: $20 million
Total strategic funding: $20 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: N/A
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: $20 million
Project status: N/A

CO 30 projects

CO 30 Improvements between Quincy Road and Airport Road
Total estimated projected cost: TBD
Total strategic funding: $25 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: N/A
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: $25 million
Project status: N/A

C-470 projects

C-470: US 285 to Morrison Road Interchange Reconstruction
Total estimated projected cost: $56 million
Total strategic funding: $56 million
Funded fiscal year 2019-2022: N/A
Proposed fiscal year 2023-2026: N/A
Planned physical year 2027: $56 million
Project status: N/A

Click to read a draft version of the Colorado Department of Transportation's September 2022 ten-year strategic-plan update.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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