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I-25 widening project eyes more funding

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The Colorado Transportation Commission was expected on Oct. 19 to approve awarding $250 million from 2017's Senate Bill 267 to the Interstate 25 gap-widening project between Monument and Castle Rock, El Paso County Commissioner Mark Waller said.

But Waller says the commission also could make the award contingent on local share, and he's hopeful locals can assemble $90 million toward the $350-million widening project (other costs could bring the project to $600 million). Of that, up to $12 million would come from El Paso County (1A), up to $3 million from the general fund, and $10 million from the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (5B), most of which is contingent on voter approval of measures on Nov. 7. The rest would come from a federal transportation grant for which the county will submit its application soon, Waller says.

The I-25 gap is four-lanes on an otherwise six-lane highway from Denver to Colorado Springs. Another way to raise money, Waller says, is to charge tolls for use of one lane in each direction of the widened road and bond against future revenues.

Douglas County has tentatively set aside $10 million for the project, says Waller, who planned to ask the town of Monument on Oct. 16 to put up $50,000. "The more collaborative of an effort we show, the better chances we have of getting this [federal] grant," he says. "I think this is going to happen. People see and understand this as a serious issue."


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