Stimulus package will help add lanes to Highway 6&50 from 24 to 25 roads

The Colorado Transportation Commission approved a list of “ready to go” highway projects Thursday that will be funded by the federal stimulus package.

Colorado will receive more than $500 million for transportation projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The Colorado Department of Transportation will receive $317 million of this for federal highway funding.

Requirements dictate that CDOT have at least 50 percent of its $317 million in funding committed to projects within 120 days. The leftover funds must be committed to projects within a year.

All of the projects on the list have been approved and should go through as long as no unforeseen circumstances take place, CDOT spokeswoman Stacy Stegman said.

“It’s basically a $300 million construction season. It is not as significant as one might imagine,” Stegman said.

Stegman said in a typical construction season, CDOT receives $300 million to $500 million.

The approved Western Slope projects are estimated to collectively receive $51.3 million.

Here is the list of approved projects in Region 3, the Western Slope region:

•  U.S. Highway 6&50 in Grand Junction: Will increase capacity by adding one lane in each direction from 24 Road to 25 Road and add turn lanes at the intersections. Enhances pedestrian and bicycle mobility and safety by connecting with the city of Grand Junction’s trail system. Estimated cost is $9 million.

•  Interstate 70 at Palisade Interchange (Exit 42): Improves safety by widening the acceleration and deceleration lanes at this interchange. The improvements will upgrade the interchange to current design standards. Estimated cost is $1.8 million.

•  Colorado Highway 340 in Fruita: Installs two traffic signals west of the I-70 interchange and makes intersection safety improvements for pedestrians and vehicles. Estimated cost is $2.1 million.

•  Colorado Highway 13 at Rio Blanco Hill in Rio Blanco County: Reconstruct five miles of Highway 13 in asphalt and add 8-foot shoulders, climbing lanes and passing lanes. The improvements will enhance recreational bicycling in the area.

This is the first phase of a larger project to improve Highway 13 between Rifle and Meeker.

Estimated cost is $13 million.

•  Colorado Highway 92 from Austin to Hotchkiss: Reconstruct five miles of Highway 92 in asphalt and add passing lanes and shoulders to improve recreational bicycling. Estimated cost is $11.9 million. 

•   I-70/Colorado Highway 82/ U.S. Highway 6 at the Glenwood Springs interchange (Exit 116): Safety improvement project will upgrade traffic signals and improve ramp width and length to benefit pedestrians and vehicles. Estimated cost is $2.5 million.

•   I-70 at the Edwards Interchange (Exit 163): Safety improvement project will construct three roundabouts at the interchange. Estimated cost is $11 million.


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