Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
Dan Hopkins 303-866-6324
Mark Salley 303-866-6323
(DENVER) - With antiquated highway bridges dating back to 1958 serving as the backdrop, Gov. Bill Owens today signed legislation (HB 1333) authorizing the issuance of up to $1.2 billion in bonds for repair and construction of roads and bridges statewide if voters approve Referendum D in November.
"These old bridges remind us of how much work still has to be done on roads all over Colorado. With voter approval in November, Referendum D will allow us to take another significant step forward to create the transportation system that Coloradans need and deserve," Owens said.
HB 1333, sponsored by Rep. Bernie Buescher (D-Grand Junction) and Sen. Jim Isgar (D- Hesperus) creates the Critical Needs Financing Corporation. If voters approve both Referendum C and Referendum D, the legislation authorizes the Corporation and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to issue Critical Needs Notes. These notes will bring in as much as $1.2 billion in new funding for roads and bridges.
On June 16, the state Transportation Commission will finalize the list of projects to be funded by the next round of bonding if voters approve Referendum D. The Commission has been working extensively with local entities over the past several months to identify those priorities.
The Commission has indicated that one of the projects on the list will be improvements to the interchange at I-25 and Santa Fe, including the widening of I-25. The I-25 bridges at that location date back to the original Valley Highway construction in 1958.
Voters approved a proposal similar to Referendum D in 1999. The Transportation Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANS) initiative allowed CDOT to issue bonds to advance projects statewide. Owens noted that because of those bonds, CDOT has been able to complete 13 critical projects that otherwise would have been delayed for years.
"You'll find TRANS-funded projects all over Colorado, like U.S. 50 from Grand Junction to Delta, U.S. 285 in Jefferson County and completion of a major interchange in Pueblo. We have made significant progress on U.S. 287 on the eastern plains and on Wolf Creek Pass in southwestern Colorado," Owens said.
In addition to completing 13 projects, four more are fully funded including I-25 through Colorado Springs, Berthoud Pass, U.S. 287 from Broomfield to Longmont and T-REX.
According to CDOT, TRANS advanced T-REX construction by more than a decade. The project is scheduled for completion in 2006.
The Governor acknowledged that the recent recession had impacted highway funding, temporarily eliminating certain state funds allocated for CDOT through earlier legislation known as Senate Bill 1.
"Originally CDOT projected that the TRANS proceeds, when combined with other sources of funding, would have completed nearly all of the 28 strategic projects within ten years. However, the recession changed that. Given the recession, think about where we would be today had we not been able to bond. Thirteen major projects would not be completed. Some would not even be started," Owens said.
The Governor also noted that the HB 1333 will benefit public schools and state universities. "Additional notes can be issued to help repair and replace deteriorating public schools, as well as older buildings at our state colleges and universities. We must invest in Colorado's aging infrastructure. We must invest in Colorado's future."
Archives Homepage | State Homepage | Department Homepage