LOVELAND, Colo. – As our state grows, so must our transportation systems.
Colorado’s infrastructure is a topic the Colorado Department of Transportation is spotlighting this week, during National Infrastructure Week.
The department is hosting press conferences in several parts of the state, during which time CDOT will explain its plans to get more of us around our growing Colorado.
During Monday’s press conference outside of Scheels in Loveland, one spokesperson said, “Our Interstates were built 40, 50, 60 years ago. They were great for the time, they met the needs of the time, but they were built with a 40 to 50 year lifespan.”
Life along the I-25 corridor today means more people and more traffic. Ultimately, this means more resources are needed to support this rapid growth.
“Everybody along this corridor knows how important it is to Northern Colorado, when we have site selectors coming to look out for building businesses here such as Scheels,” the spokesperson continued.
He was referring to businesses that rely on customers getting from place to place with ease.
In Northern Colorado, that means widening U.S. 34, putting express lanes along a stretch of I-25, and making upgrades to other northern roads.
These are changes that can’t come soon enough for some.
“It's not been fun,” Matthew Newman said. “I've been trying to avoid it as much as possible.”
Newman is a truck driver for Lukas Cargo Systems, LLC.
He explained growth without the proper infrastructure is bad for business.
“In Los Angeles it’s bad,” Newman said. “[And] sometimes around like 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. out here, it looks exactly like Los Angeles.”
Another driver, Anthony Smith, told Denver7, “Oh, I'm looking at houses popping up everywhere!”
He said the housing development he’s witnessed from the road has also been felt with surrounding traffic.
“I just basically slow down and allow everyone who's very familiar with it to do what they normally do, and I just kind of drive more defensively,” Smith said.
However, with the growth, there’s a growing price tag.
CDOT saw some relief when Senate Bill 1 passed. “We don't want people to get too excited about that because it's just a drop in the bucket for what we actually need long term,” a CDOT spokesperson told Monday’s crowd.
The bill will fund billions of dollars in road repairs across our growing Colorado.