CDOT funding beyond tight
Funding for big road projects from the Colorado Department of Transportation will be limited in Grand County and other mountain communities in the coming years.
In northwestern Colorado, there are five transportation planning regions with $7 million to share each year among all five of them. This averages to $1.4 million per region per year, and each region is made up of three to four counties.
This money available from CDOT is intended for bigger capacity projects. Outside of road maintenance and safety projects, this is the budget for developments, like adding lanes to a highway.
“That means there’s not a of lot money that can do much, unfortunately,” said Zane Znamenacek, the traffic and safety engineer for this region.
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Grand, Jackson and Summit counties make up the intermountain transportation-planning region. This region and others are in the process of figuring out what plans to prioritize in the coming years.
“It’s a lot of negotiation and planning to spend those dollars where they’re needed and as smartly as possible,” Znamenacek said.
Other projects being looked at in this region include work on the four-lane section between Winter Park and Fraser and work in Summit County on Highway 9 and Highway 91. But Znamenacek said nothing has been finalized yet.
The Granby town board recently expressed interest in putting another stoplight in town, specifically at the intersection of 6th Street and Highway 40. In order for CDOT to fund that, Grand and the other counties in the region would have to agree this is a transportation priority. Znamenacek said that would be unlikely because of the design of the intersection.
The town board has indicated that it may pay for the stoplight with town funds. This would still need approval from CDOT, but because the intersection is close to a fail rate town officials said it had a better chance of being approved.
While this funding could increase with help from federal or state legislature or ballot initiatives, Znamenacek said the northwestern region would plan for only the $7 million in funding.
“We know that could change at any point too,” Znamenacek said. “That’s why we over plan a bit in case there is more money.”
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