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October 29, 2018 3:15 PM, EDT

Proposed Colorado Projects Could Ease Flow of Freight

Colorado Projects Traffic backs up on Interstate 70 near Silvethorne, Colo. (Thomas Peipert/Associated Press)

Although the Colorado Motor Carriers Association is publicly neutral on Propositions 109 and 110, Vice President Patti Gillette acknowledges that the projects recommended would ease congestion and improve safety.

The Colorado Transportation Commission has a list of projects to earmark for funding, including widening a portion of Interstate 70 from two lanes to three at Floyd Hill, about 30 miles west of Denver. It’s the state’s primary east-west freight corridor.

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Gillette said a steep uphill grade that characterizes westbound I-70 can be a challenge for large commercial vehicles.

Colorado Projects

Gillette

“It’s a bottleneck, and it’s a safety issue because of the grades,” Gillette said.

Another project is the widening of northbound I-25, between Denver and Fort Collins, considered one of the most important freight routes in the state and “absolutely a bottleneck,” Gillette said.

The two highways, I-25 and I-70, intersect in Denver.

“Any expansion [and] widening would be very good for freight; very good for highway safety,” she said.

Gillette said both projects would benefit trucking and that association is “completely, positively supportive of transportation funding,” but recognizes there’s a degree of uncertainty surrounding the projects should the upcoming election change statewide leadership.

The Colorado ballot also includes electing a new governor, which may result in a new director for the state Department of Transportation as well as new transportation commissioners. The makeup of the state’s House of Representatives and Senate also could shift.

These leadership changes may result in realigning the state’s freight corridor priorities, Gillette said.