Larkspur Bridge

Spruce Mountain Road bridge is rebuilt as part of Interstate 25 South Gap construction project. Photo courtesy of the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Colorado will receive approximately $150 million for transportation projects through the $900 billion COVID-19 relief and fiscal year 2021 appropriations legislation that Congress passed in the final days of December.

The coronavirus-related measure contained $10 billion for roads, most of which will flow through the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, based on population. An additional $15 billion will go to mass transit and $2 billion will go toward airports and their concessionaires.

On Monday, the state’s Transportation Commission, which sets policy for the Colorado Department of Transportation, approved a list of projects for the money according to the principles of “Move Quickly ... Distribute Dollars Equitably … [and] Advance Health and Sustainability Goals.”

“We’re not trying to do everything, because we just can’t,” said Shoshana Lew, executive director of the agency, according to CPR. “But to try to make sure that, particularly given the job creation impacts of these projects, they are spread out in a way that reflects” equity across regions.

Among the state’s five CDOT regions, the Denver metro area will receive $45.9 million, southeastern Colorado will receive $25.5 million, northwestern Colorado will receive $20.3 million, northeastern Colorado will receive $32.1 million, and southwest Colorado will receive $10.6 million, according to a proposed staff allocation. The projects include noise wall maintenance, intersection and signal improvements, and awards to the Denver Regional Council of Governments. 

“CDOT has focused on projects ready to go to advertisement as soon as possible (preferably February-April),” a briefing paper from Rebecca White and Marissa Gaughan of the transport agency reads.

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