CDOT receives $15 million for I-25 project

By Surveyor Staff

The Colorado Department of Transportation will receive $15 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to expand and improve Interstate 25 between Fort Collins and Loveland.

The grant will be used as part of a $230 million project that includes construction of one Tolled Express Lane in each direction on I-25 for 14 miles, from State Highway 14 to State Highway 402.

The total package, estimated at $237 million, includes mostly State and local funds. Larimer County was the initial local investor that brought funds to the table. The Board of County Commissioners shepherded the local efforts, which diverted a portion of the general fund mill levy to the road & bridge fund, providing $10 million for improvements to I-25. This diversion required approval and collaboration of all the cities and towns in Larimer County, and all municipalities were unanimous in their support.

“This is great news for congestion relief in northern Colorado!” said Tom Donnelly, Chair of the Board of Larimer County Commissioners. “The Commissioners realized in early 2015 that local action would be necessary to expedite efforts to expand north I-25. As the first local government to allocate dollars to this effort, I am proud of the leadership this board provided in order to ensure this project will finally be able to get off the ground.”

The project will replace two (2) bridges, expand two (2) bridges and add a third managed travel lane. The replacement of the Poudre River bridge will provide the opportunity to complete the Poudre River Trail that runs from Greeley to Fort Collins. The Kendall Parkway bridge replacement, just north of US Highway 34, will provide a new park-n-ride facility; replacing the existing one further south.

The improvements will provide much needed capacity and ease congestion in the corridor. The project also includes transit, pedestrian, and cycle improvements that will connect northern Colorado to the Denver-metro region.

Funding was awarded through CDOT’s competitive Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant Program, which provides funding for investments in road, rail transit and port projects that have a significant impact on the nation, regions, or metropolitan areas.

The TIGER program was renewed last year when Congress passed the FAST Act, a five-year highway and transit funding bill that was supported by U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

Significant population growth along the northern I-25 corridor in recent years has led to congestion and travel delays. CDOT forecasts that population growth will increase the number of vehicles making daily trips along this section by 60 percent by 2040. Some estimates congestion has cost northern Colorado businesses $56 million in lost revenue and created major delays for commuters along the Front Range.

“North I-25 is such an important corridor, and this project is crucial to the economic wellbeing of northern Colorado,” said Kathy Gilliland, CDOT District 5 Commissioner. “We are so appreciative of this grant that gives us funds to finally get this effort moving forward and get some relief.”