Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Colorado enters final leg to study feasibility of $24B transportation project

Hyperloop - Image credit: Flickr
 
Hyperloop could be coming to Colorado if the project currently under study is built. In September 2017, Colorado was chosen as one of 10 participants in the Global Hyperloop One competition - the project could eventually connect Vail, Pueblo and Cheyenne to Denver. Consultants are currently studying technical issues and overall feasibility. The study is expected to be complete by Fall 2018. Colorado is moving quickly due to other statewide investments like the RoadX program and the High-Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE). CDOT is also working with another alternative transportation company, Arrivo, on a test track near Denver International Airport.

For more information about Hyperloop in Colorado, read the article from the Loveland Reporter-Herald.

Friday, May 18, 2018

US 34 Canyon Reopens for Good on Thursday, May 24

US 34 Big Thompson Canyon. Image Credit: CDOT 
Big Thompson Canyon, between Loveland and Estes Park, is reopening next week to all through traffic, following years of intermittent closures to repair damage caused during the 2013 floods.

The project was completed 18 months ahead of the original schedule through an accelerated plan restricting traffic in the off-season to local permitted drivers. Since the canyon closed in October 2018, Kiewit Infrastructure Co. has installed 95,000 cubic yards of rock to protect the roadway from flooding erosion, twenty-thousand linear feet of river improvements, and 4,000 linear feet of new drainage pipe. The Horseshoe Bridge structures were also completed. Together, these improvements will increase the resiliency of US 34 to future flooding events and provide protected emergency routes.

While the long-term closures have come to an end, additional work will continue through the fall to finalize the project. Drivers may encounter up to 20-minute delays for paving work, and there will be limited night-time closures to set bridge girders for four new access bridges.

Read more from CDOT and on the Coloradoan.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

CDOT: Construction to begin soon on NoCo highway improvements



Yesterday was the first day of National Infrastructure Week (May 14-21), and CDOT's Executive Director Mike Lewis came to Johnstown to discuss the investment in road infrastructure in Northern Colorado. The projects discussed included:
  • Widening US34 to three lines between Loveland and Greeley, including improvements to the bridge over I-25.
  • Replacement of the Prospect Road/I-25 and SH402/I-25 interchanges.
  • Opening US 34 through the Big Thompson Canyon on May 24.
Once these projects are completed, additional work will continue on I-25 itself. These projects were made possible due to infusion of local funds. Additional transportation funding will become available with the Colorado General Assembly passing SB1.

More information about yesterday's event is available in this article in the Loveland Reporter-Herald.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Colorado's Legislative Leaders Strike A Deal To Boost Transportation Funding

Image Credit: Flickr 
On Tuesday, the Colorado legislature passed Transportation Infrastructure Bill SB-001, providing $645M from the general fund for transportation projects over the next two years. The bill could also place a ballot measure on the 2019 ballot for voter approval of $3.5B in Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANs) bonds, as long as a citizen-initiated ballot measure requiring the state to issue TRANs bonds is not approved by voters in the 2018 election.

The $645M in general funds includes $495M in 2019 and $150M in 2020, with 70 percent allocated to CDOT's top-tier projects, 15 percent to the multimodal transportation options fund, and 15 percent to local governments.

On Monday, House Speaker Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, and Senate President Kevin Grantham, R-CaƱon City announced the compromise paving the way for the bill's passage. The bill is now on its way to Governor John Hickenlooper for his signature.

The bill recognizes Colorado's population growth and increasing congestion, and notes the reduction in state contribution to transportation in recent years. It also identifies the success of the 1999 TRANs program, which accelerated the delivery of transportation projects and has been fully repaid.

Learn more about the bill from Colorado Public Radio.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Could Autonomous Vehicles Add to Congestion

Image Credit: Shutterstock


A road network buzzing with self-driving cars may not be as far away as you might think. A variety of autonomous vehicles are expected to debut within the next five years and industry experts predict full-scale adoption within the next 30 years. But what will this mean for our transportation systems?

Some planners predict a decreased demand for parking if AVs are used as part of the on-demand services like Uber and Lyft. Another potential consequence could be increased vehicle miles traveled if those using AVs to commute are willing to commute further with more free time at their disposal. 

Changes like these could have huge impacts on both our land use and transportation systems, freeing up land for redevelopment as demand for parking lots decreases, but potentially encouraging the sprawl of metropolitan areas. 

For more information, check out Skip Descant’s article on govtech.com.

Governor signs Bicycle Operation Approaching Intersection Bill into law

Image credit: Flickr

Governor John Hickenlooper signed the Bicycle Operation Approaching Intersection Bill into law last week. The law allows municipalities to pass local laws letting bicyclists treat stop signs like yield signs and traffic signals like stop signs. Essentially, a municipality can pass a law that allows a bicyclist to slow to a reasonable speed and proceed through an intersection when it is safe to do so. At traffic signals, the bicyclist must come to a complete stop before moving through the intersection. So far, no communities within Northern Colorado have passed the law, but Fort Collins may revisit the law in the coming years.

To find out more about this law, read the article on the Coloradoan.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Over $1.6 Billion of Discretionary Transportation Funding Announced

Image Credit: USDOT
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for $1.5 billion in discretionary grant funding as part of the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program. This program replaces the pre-existing Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) also released a NOFO for $65,232,400 through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program (CRISI) and $60,000,000 through the Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) program. For more information, including a list of eligible applicants and application due dates, visit the following websites:

BUILD https://www.transportation.gov/buildgrants/build-nofo

CRISI https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/02/21/2018-03534/notice-of-funding-opportunity-for-consolidated-rail-infrastructure-and-safety-improvements

ATCMTD https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=303763

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

2018 to be a busy road contruction year


SH14 exit on I-25. Image credit: Google Maps

To accompany all of the growth in the region, the construction season will be busy this year. Some of the big projects to begin (or continue) construction soon include:
  • The North I-25 Express Lanes (Fort Collins to Johnstown) project will add a tolled express lane (TEL, which is HOV3+) between SH14 and SH402, as well as improved transit amenities, connections to the Poudre Trail, and bridge replacement. The project is expected to be completed by 2021.
  • Mulberry Street (SH14) is being repaved from Lemay Avenue to I-25 which should last about five months.
  • A new roundabout and road expansion is occurring between SH1 and the Laporte Bypass on US287. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
 Two projects will be wrapping up soon:
  • US34 Big Thompson Canyon is expected to be completely open by May 24.
  • I-25/Crossroads Boulevard has completed construction and the project is wrapping up with cleanup and final touches.
More information about these projects is available at the Coloradoan.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Transit down across US, but up in Northern Colorado


Image source: Fort Collins/Flickr

Although more than 10.1 Billion trips were taken on public transportation systems across the nation, this number is done 2.9 percent from 2016. All mode of transit besides paratransit saw ridership decreases. Good news for Northern Colorado, though! Transit has grown dramatically in Fort Collins and Greeley and on Bustang due to investment and strong civic support. Ridership on GET, which covers Greeley, Evans, and Garden City increased 16.0 percent between 2016 and 2017, while Fort Collins (included MAX and FLEX) increased by 5.4 percent.

 
Source: NTD, COLT, GET, Transfort, 2018.

Read more about transit trends across the country by reading the article from Transportation News Today. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Share your thoughts on Fort Collins' EV Readiness Roadmap.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station. Image credit: Flickr

The City of Fort Collins is developing an Electric Vehicle (EV) Readiness Roadmap to prepare for current and future EV adoption in the community. The Roadmap will establish a vision, goals, and clearly defined roles for City of Fort Collins Departments, the private sector, and the Fort Collins community.

As part of this work, the project team has developed a questionnaire to gather input from community members to inform development of the roadmap. Please fill out the questionnaire at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FortCollinsEVReadiness by Friday, April 6 to share your thoughts and help to shape the EV Readiness Roadmap.