Wednesday, December 19, 2018

@NFRMPO releases 2019 Public Involvement Plan for Public Comment thru 2/2

The North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO) Planning Council has released the draft 2019 Public Involvement Plan (PIP) for a 45-day public comment period. This 45-day public comment period begins on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 and closes on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

The NFRMPO region is a diverse and growing community, and a unique environment. The rapid and continued growth of the region requires that transportation investments keep up with development to maintain a vibrant economy. A robust public involvement process ensures a future transportation system that reflects the region’s goals, growth, and values. The 2019 PIP provides strategies to improve this process.

The 2019 PIP is a federally-mandated plan for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and includes strategies for engaging the public in the transportation planning process. In addition, certain strategies ensure participation by and benefiting Environmental Justice (EJ), Limited English Proficiency (LEP), and other vulnerable populations. The 2019 PIP summarizes the major NFRMPO deliverables and how to get involved and forms to request information or make a complaint.

A copy of the plan is available at the NFRMPO office at 419 Canyon Avenue, Suite 300, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521. The full 2019 PIP can be accessed on the NFRMPO website: https://nfrmpo.org/wp-content/uploads/2019-public-involvement-plan-draft.pdf. Anyone needing special accommodations to access the content of the plan should contact Alex Gordon at agordon@nfrmpo.org.

All comments on the 2019 PIP should be provided to Alex Gordon, PTP at (970) 416-2023 or agordon@nfrmpo.org by 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Road from Loveland to Kersey has potential to become arterial


Freedom Parkway Image Credit: ACP
Between Loveland and Kersey, the east-west corridor known as Freedom Parkway connects eight jurisdictions and has a variety of names, including SH402, LCR 18, WCR 54, and 37th Street. Through a collaborative effort, the communities along the corridor are identifying a shared vision and a plan for managing access points to increase safety and improve traffic flow.

The vision for the corridor is outlined in the Freedom Parkway Access Control Plan, which seeks "to improve safety, mobility, and reliability by managing the number, location, and configuration of access points along a corridor." Most of the corridor is currently 2-lanes and the ultimate condition is a 4-lane arterial roadway.

The Access Control Plan has been adopted by seven of the eight communities, and is scheduled for adoption by Weld County on December 12.

Read more from the Loveland Reporter-Herald.

North I-25 Among Projects for $47M in Grants Awarded to Colorado

North I-25 Segment 6 is shown in black outline above. Image credit: CDOT
On Thursday, Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) announced three projects across Colorado were awarded a total of $47M through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Gratn Program. $20M of these funds were awarded to the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO) for improvements to North I-25 Segment 6 between SH402 and SH56 near Johnstown and Berthoud.
Regarding the award announcement, Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer said, “All of our work that we’ve been doing, with the I-25 Coalition, the business community and the state department of transportation, has paid off…We have for years now recognized I-25 as Colorado’s Main Street.” The award helps expedite expansion of I-25 by decades, with an anticipated 2022 completion date.

The other projects in Colorado awarded BUILD grants were CDOT’s vehicle-to everything (V2X) project and the City of Glenwood Springs’ South Midland Avenue project to modernize water and broadband infrastructure.

Read more from the Greeley Tribune.

More Potholes, Traffic Jams On The Horizon Unless Interstates Are Fixed, Report Finds

I-25 traffic.

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) has published a report called Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System: A Foundation for the Future. Travel along the nation's Interstate Highway System (like I-25 in Northern Colorado) have increased more than 160 percent between 1980 and 2015. Although Interstate roads make up a smaller portion of overall road mileage, they carry nearly a quarter of all vehicle miles traveled. Despite this importance, maintenance has not necessarily kept up, leading to a backlog of structural and operational deficiencies. Additionally, technology has made giant leaps forward, but the nation's Interstates have not kept up.

For more information, read the article on NPR. To read the report, visit the National Academies Press website.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

NFRMPO Receives $20M BUILD Grant for North I-25 Project

Image credit: CDOT
Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) announced Thursday the NFRMPO has been awarded a $20M Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant for the North I-25 Segment 6 improvement project. The $20M grant, from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), will help with widening a segment of North I-25 between SH 402 and SH 56/Little Thompson Bridge through the addition of an express tolled lane in each direction. CDOT has estimated that in 2040, the I-25 Corridor will see a 60 percent increase in daily vehicle traffic.

Both Senators issued statements regarding the award. Senator Gardner stated, “We strongly advocated to the Department of Transportation how important this infrastructure funding would be for Colorado and I-25, and I’m thrilled to announce it will be coming soon to help support these important projects." Senator Bennet acknowledged the local, regional, and state collaboration around the North I-25 project saying, "Thanks to the tireless efforts of Northern Colorado communities, this $20 million for North I-25 will build on past TIGER grants to decrease congestion in one of the state’s busiest corridors."

Two other Colorado projects were also awarded BUILD grants. CDOT was awarded a $20 million BUILD grant for its vehicle-to-everything (V2X) project to expand the connectivity of transportation infrastructure through the deployment of fiber across Colorado highways. The City of Glenwood Springs will be receiving $7M for to modernize infrastructure along the City’s South Midland Avenue.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

State Agencies Release Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX) Map

Image Credit: Colorado DNR and CPW
In support of the Colorado the Beautiful Initiative, Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) teamed together to create Colorado Trail Explorer (COTREX). COTREX is an endeavor to map every trail in the state, with information on allowed trail activities, trail length, trail difficulty, and other defining characteristics. Users can create an account and record trips, field notes, and trip reports, and complete challenges to document experiences and help others make informed decisions. COTREX is available as an online interactive map in any browser and as an app available free on the App Store and Google Play. Users can even download maps for use offline when outside of cell coverage. Information on trails and trailheads in COTREX is provided by trail managers across the state, including NFRMPO member agencies.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Northern Colorado Regional Airport tests one-of-a-kind virtual tower



Remote tower interior layout concept. Image credit: FNL
Northern Colorado Regional Airport - formerly Fort Collins-Loveland Airport - is piloting a virtual air tower, which will use technology to assist plane movements in the airport. Currently under construction with the expected first phase of testing beginning in March, the virtual air tower will use a bank of monitors and three cameras to capture panoramic views of the air and ground traffic. Currently, there is no air tower so inbound and outbound planes must rely on the pilot's eyes and ears. The project is funded through the state Division of Aeronatuics and is a first for the country to combine cameras and radar.

Read more about the virtual air tower at the Coloradoan.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Weekend closure of the northbound I-25 on-ramp from CO 392 CANCELED

Image Credit: Google Maps
Due to expected low temperatures and high humidity, the scheduled closure of the northbound on-ramp from CO 392 to I-25 is being postponed. The closure had been scheduled for Friday, November 9 at 9 p.m. through Monday, November 12 at 5 a.m. The closure will be rescheduled at a later date.

The reconstruction of the northbound on-ramp from CO 392 to I-25 is part of the North I-25 Express Lanes project. Learn more about the project on the CDOT project page.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Construction Starts Oct. 15 to Rebuild CO 402 & I-25 Interchange

Image Credit: CDOT
Change is coming to SH402 and North I-25. Work begins on Monday, October 15 to rebuild the interchange and flip SH402 so that it crosses over the interstate. The project will be completed in three phases:
    • Phase 1: Crews will build temporary infrastructure on the southbound side of I-25.
    • Phase 2: Crews will push northbound traffic onto the southbound side to provide access to build infrastructure on the northbound side.
    • Phase 3: Crews will switch northbound and southbound traffic onto the northbound side to allow crews to build the required infrastructure on the southbound side.
      Most of the work will be completed outside of North I-25, but nighttime lane closures will be required. In addition, the southbound off-ramp and on-ramp to SH402 will be closed in mid-October. For additional details and detour information, please read the CDOT press release.

      In summer 2019, SH402 between the North I-25 ramps will be closed for 120 days while the SH402 bridge over North I-25 is constructed. More details on this closure will be available in the spring.

      This work is part of the North I-25 Express Lanes: Johnstown to Fort Collins project, which will construct an Express lane in each direction from SH402 to SH14, among other improvements. View the CDOT project page for more information on the project.

      Thursday, October 4, 2018

      Join CDOT in October for Statewide Conversations on Transportation


      Image Credit: CDOT
      CDOT is holding in-person meetings and telephone town halls across the state this month to discuss transportation needs.

      On Tuesday, October 9, join Commissioner Kathy Gilliland at the Milliken Town Hall from 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm for the in-person "Let's Talk Colorado Transportation" meeting. In addition to Commissioner Gilliland, the CDOT Region 4 regional transportation director and other CDOT staff will be available to discuss CDOT projects in the region, how Colorado funds transportation projects, and how CDOT allocates its annual budget and prioritizes improvement projects based on annual revenues.

      The telephone town hall for the northeast region, which includes Larimer and Weld counties, will be held Tuesday, October 16 starting at 6:30 pm. CDOT will call area residents at random to invite them to the town hall, and anyone who wants to participate can join toll-free by calling 1-877-229-8493, PIN 112034.

      For information on the meetings in other locations across the state, view the CDOT news release.