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Friday, October 14, 2016

I-25 widening project absent from DRCOG plan

Posted By on Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at 4:02 PM

We reported in this week's Independent about a crucial stretch of Interstate 25, from Monument to Castle Rock, lying outside the planning area overseen by the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments.

Rather, it's part of the Denver Regional Council of Governments.

Doug Rex, DRCOG's transportation planning and operations director, now says that his agency is supportive of widening the 17-mile segment from four lanes to six.

Problem is, the project isn't listed in DRCOG's 2040 planning document as a priority. "We have to have reasonable expectations of revenue to fund the projects that are in the plan," Rex says. "This project is not listed in the capacity improvement portion of our plan. That doesn't mean we don't recognize it as a problem. It's just at this point in time, the recommended improvements and how to fund that project haven't been identified."

He says DRCOG is aware of a planning environmental linkage study now under way, funded by the Colorado Department of Transportation. "We are participating in that study and as anxious as anybody to see what the recommended improvements would be in that corridor."

But Rex admits it remains a mystery how the project would be funded. DRCOG updates its long-range plan every four years, and that means its next update won't happen until February of 2019. Meaning, the widening project won't make it onto DRCOG's priority list before then.

But he says while some local matching funds might be required, the bulk of funding for the project is expected to come from the federal government through CDOT.

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