Effort to Widen North I-25 Continues

Jul 19, 2016 | Uncategorized

A headline in the Coloradoan a couple of days ago made it sound like the effort to secure funding to widen I-25 had gone in the ditch or at least hit a rough patch.

The column by veteran reporter Kevin Duggan was titled “Drive to fix I-25 hits $137M speed bump.” Mr. Duggan explains that a funding grant request from Northern Colorado was not funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

He does a good job of explaining that two grants were in play: the USDOT grant mentioned above and what is known as a TIGER grant (Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery). While two grants were submitted, it was always understood that it would be one or the other or neither, but not both.

The Colorado Department of Transportation will find out about the TIGER grant in August or September. It would be for $25 million and has been matched by the communities along I-25 in Northern Colorado.

Receiving a TIGER grant is akin to winning the lottery, but it does happen, and I’m personally optimistic that it will happen. I have no special insider information so I’m taking my cue from the upbeat attitude of state transportation officials. We’ll know in the near future.

But let’s play ‘what if’ for a minute. What if the TIGER grant does not come through? What will happen to plans to widen I-25 to 3 lanes each way between Highway 14 in Fort Collins and Highway 402 just south of Loveland?

With the strong commitment shown by the local communities, I think CDOT will reconfigure the project and move ahead to widen I-25 by the end of 2020 or so. They may have to shorten the project or extend the date of completion, but CDOT officials understand that I-25 in a big problem. They seem committed to do something about it.

A hat tip to Mr. Duggan for updating the community about what’s happening. Dour headline aside, I think we’ll get good news on the widening of I-25 this fall.