The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) March 19 officially adopted the 2040 Statewide Transportation Plan (STP)—a plan officials say outlines the department’s “needs and strategic actions” during the next 10 and 25 years.
“The 2040 Statewide Transportation Plan serves as an excellent starting point for moving CDOT into the position of becoming the best DOT in the nation,” said Shailen Bhatt, CDOT executive director.
“This bold and achievable goal is only reached through a clear blueprint for maintaining and improving the state’s transportation system over the next 10 to 25 years—and the 2040 Statewide Transportation Plan is the innovative blueprint that will help CDOT achieve this.”
With the plan, CDOT intends to increase the capacity of the state’s transportation system balancing safety, efficient operation and management practices, and maintenance and preservation. The plan’s strategic initiatives are:
- Safety: The plan outlines data-driven processes to reduce crashes and education strategies to modify driver behavior, helping move Colorado towards zero deaths.
- Mobility: The plan it addresses how to improve operational efficiencies regionally and at a corridor level; future projects will look at opportunities to provide more mobility choice. Lastly, CDOT plans to enhance travel reliability and reduce congestion through the use of managed lanes, which include HOV lanes and tolled express lanes.
- Economic vitality: CDOT will consider economic benefits when selecting project, including job creation, job access and economic savings. The agency is also exploring alternative funding sources to ensure the transportation system helps maintain the state’s economic competitiveness.
- Maintain the system: CDOT will implement its risk-based asset management plan which focuses more on preventative maintenance and using risk factors to determine which roads, bridges, tunnels, culverts and other assets need to be addressed first—doing the right repairs at the right time.
Annual funding issues are also recognized in the plan, acknowledging that roughly $800 million of additional funds are needed each year to meet the state’s transportation needs.
“Like many other states, Colorado needs to explore funding options and finance mechanisms to stretch dollars further, replace declining gas tax revenues, and reduce dependency on uncertain federal funding,” Bhatt said.
To develop the plan, CDOT worked with various regional and metropolitan planning organizations and commissions within the state, as well as roughly 60,000 citizens. It exists in a web-based format, CDOT said, “as a better way to communicate with the public.”