Widening I-25 – Swinging for the Fence

How old will you be in 2070? I’ll be a spry 115. Run the math on yourself then ask this question: Why is it taking Governor Hickenlooper and the Colorado Department of Transportation the rest of my life to widen I-25 to 3 lanes each way between Fort Collins and Longmont?

Fortunately, the chambers of commerce in Northern Colorado have put a plan into play to get this done much sooner.  A bill proposed by the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance (a joint committee of the Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley Chambers of Commerce) is being introduced in the Legislature today that would generate $3.5B for statewide transportation priorities. Here’s the best part: no tax increase.

This magic is made possible by the renewing the TRANS Bonds program. In 1999 Colorado voters approved a ballot measure that bonded half of Colorado’s federal gas tax revenue to jumpstart construction on two dozen key transportation projects in the state. Projects like T-Rex in the south Denver area of I-25 were funded this way.

The program expires in 2017, and the Northern Colorado chambers of commerce are proposing a TRANS Bonds II program. It would generate $3.5B for transportation projects including widening parts of I-25. First, a bill needs to get through the Legislature to refer the measure to the ballot. If that happens, in November voters would decide whether to support the measure.

Statewide polling conducted by NCLA on April 8 and 9 indicates 61% of voters support the idea. In contrast, voters are much less likely to support a gas tax increase and are adamantly opposed to increasing drivers’ license and car registration fees. Residents in Larimer and Weld counties were cool to the idea of adding a tolling lane on north I-25.

To learn more go to www.FixNorthI25.com. Halfway down the homepage you’ll see the TRANS II Bill link. While you’re there, consider contacting your state legislators to encourage them to vote for the bill.

The message:

  • I am <a resident of Northern Colorado or I am with X business>.
  • I-25 is a mess and needs widened sooner rather than later.
  • The TRANS II Bond measure that is being proposed makes a great deal of sense and I’m contacting you to ask you to support it.

Legislators to contact include:

To use a baseball analogy, we have been patching together the $965M to widen I-25 with walks and singles. The TRANS II Bonds program is a big swing for the fences.