I25Lots of goodies for Colorado roads this Christmas in Santa’s bag.

The Senate finally passed a five-year highway bill that will give states confidence money will be there to plan transportation projects, said U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.

“Colorado is growing fast, and it’s absolutely critical that our infrastructure keeps up with that growth,” Gardner said.

Gardner secured a provision to include three major road projects into a specific financing program; the C470 Express Lanes, I-70 East of Denver, and the North I-25 expansion.

Other provisions inserted by Gardner include:

  • Requiring the Transportation Department to consider population growth when awarding grants, which is expected to help Colorado get funding for congested corridors like I-25 North of Denver.
  • New language allowing cities to use certain funds for transit projects, so funding could go towards the Denver Regional Transportation District, among others.
  • Language that would help Colorado create a pilot program to test intelligent transportation systems on I-70 and I-25.
  • A study on the railroad administration’s rule on train horns at highway crossings to help reduce noise.

We’re just as shocked as everyone else that Congress is actually getting anything done. Amazing what happens when Republicans are in charge.