The Colorado Transportation Commission approved a resolution recently to support Proposition #110, which would provide an estimated $18 billion in funding for state highways, city and county, transit, bicycle and pedestrian transportation projects around the state.
“Colorado faces significant transportation funding challenges now and in the future as a result of the declining purchasing power of a flat gas tax, rising construction costs, and increasing demands on existing transportation infrastructure,” stated Transportation Commission chair Shannon Gifford of Denver. “Simply put future expansion projects are limited by rising maintenance costs and preservation needs.”
Proposition #110 has been placed on the ballot and if approved by the people of Colorado would increase the state sales tax by 0.62 percent for 20 years and dedicate those funds to state highways, local and multimodal transportation options across Colorado. In July, the transportation commission, with the collaboration of local officials on the Statewide Transportation Committee, approved a list of projects across the state such as I-70 Mountain Floyd Hill, the U.S. 287 Lamar Reliever to move trucks around the town, and improvements to CO 13 north of Rifle.
The funds would also support several statewide programs, including Fiber and Technology; ADA Sidewalks and Bicycle/Pedestrian; Safety Shoulders, Rest Area Restoration, Small Freight and Truck Parking, and Wildlife Crash Mitigation; and a Pavement Improvement Program if Proposition #110 is approved by voters.
The commission also approved a separate resolution pointing out that the projects identified in a Proposition #109 are to cost about $5.6 billion, exceeding the $3.5 billion in funding allocated. They also noted that if Proposition #109 is passed, it replaces $1.5 billion of existing state funding resulting in a total net increase of $2 billion. Lastly, they noted that the projects identified would need to be reassessed as to whether the project could be built, or scope changed should the people of Colorado approve Proposition #109.
“We have over $20 billion in identified unfunded strategy highway transportation needs in the next 20 years, and in El Paso county, state highways alone need $2.4 billion,” said commissioner Rocky Scott, Colorado Springs, Colorado. “Mobility matters, the economy matters, there are lives at stake and the need is great. While it is easy to be timid about raising taxes, it’s important to know what are taxes for, to serve the people. In my view we are obligated to serve the people’s transportation needs by supporting Proposition #110.”
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