Colorado is due to receive well over $5 billion from the Infrastructure Bill over the next five years for highways, bridges, public transportation, expansion of broadband internet service, water infrastructure improvements, airport projects and more. Surface transportation is where the state likely will see the greatest impact — with the federal money supercharging an 11-year, $5.4 billion state transportation bill passed by the legislature earlier this year.
But Shoshana Lew, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, pointed out that it’s not all new money. The $3.7 billion in federal highway funding and $917 million in transit money under the infrastructure bill include the state’s typical annual allocations, just supercharged for five years.
The net increase is an extra $700-900 million for highway-related projects and roughly $240 million for transit agencies over the next five years. Those boosts are the equivalent of what Colorado would typically receive in each category for a year and a half under past funding levels.
Separately, the state is due $225 million for bridge replacements and repairs, plus $57 million to install more electric vehicle charging stations.
In coming months, state transportation leaders will decide how to apply the highway money to CDOT’s 10-year priority plan, which is being updated, Lew said. CDOT also will gear up to compete for sizeable project grants that will be available under new federal transportation programs created by the bill.
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