CDOT Region Four Officials have applied for $143 million dollars in funding from CDOT’s Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships’ (RAMP) program. CDOT Headquarters recently made the funds for this program available through a competitive application process.
Funding would be contingent on a Public-Private-Partnership on I-25 to create a tolled, managed express lane. Without utilizing this funding opportunity, it is estimated that it will 42 to 85 years before we see any expansion in Northern Colorado. CDOT officials have been busy pushing the proposal to local governments and businesses but not everyone is pleased with the idea.
Why? Well, to give one example, a general-purpose lane between Highway 7 and Colorado Highway 66, would become an express (toll) lane. That has infuriated some local governments, who gave up local projects in order to get I-25 expanded in their area.
One impediment is that CDOT has decreed that all local governments along the corridor would have to agree with the plan. Will Erie, Firestone and Weld County do that? So far, it doesn’t seem likely. Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway said that in his mind taxpayers already paid for the additional lane and shouldn’t have to pay to use it.
The mere idea that it could take 40 years to do anything is just too awful to contemplate given the population growth predicted for our area. At this point there’s a lot of talk going on behind the scenes but the deadline for submitting the application is Sept. 19th, according to CDOT, so there’s not much time for consensus-building.