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On Friday, Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Transportation announced Colorado as the recipient of a $100,000,000 Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight and Highway Projects grant program (INFRA) award. The funding will go towards I-70’s Floyd Hill Project which will expand reliability and safety and improve aspects of Colorado’s I-70’s Mountain Corridor.

The Floyd Hill Project will add a third westbound express lane to help eliminate severe bottlenecking that currently plagues travel time. It will add a new connection between U.S. Route 6 and Idaho Springs to expand emergency and detour accessibility, and improve visibility and reduce safety risks along the road.

While this federal program offers competitive grant opportunities for projects that improve safety, increase efficiency, and offer opportunities to generate economic growth, there is another side effect that we may be feeling over the next several years. The expected construction snafus could send more traffic in the direction of Park, Chaffee, and Lake counties around what is expected to be patience-stretching delays during the major construction.

Photo by David Hannigan via CPW.

“Everyone who travels the I-70 Mountain Corridor knows Floyd Hill as the first place where you get stuck in traffic as you leave Denver. Getting this traffic jam fixed has been a priority for my Administration for years, and it is a centerpiece of our Ten Year Plan for transportation,” said Polis.

Along with new traffic lanes, wildlife enthusiasts will be delighted that the project will add wildlife protections like wildlife bridges and restore surrounding animal habits.

Environmentalists may be pleased as well. The project aims to protect the environment through the addition of air quality monitors, the integration of electric vehicle infrastructure, and the expansion of public transit routes.

“It is no accident that I joined state legislators and stakeholders at this spot to sign our historic transportation funding bill. Secretary Buttigieg, our federal legislators, and I also stood together at this site to highlight our tremendous need for fixing roads and bridges,” added the governor. “I would like to thank our delegation for their tremendous advocacy for this $100 million grant to help Coloradans get out of traffic.”