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DENVER -- More people moving to Colorado means more stress on our already over-stressed roads. The state now hopes social media can pave the way to new construction.
“You’re spending a lot more time in stop and go traffic," said Scott Hild.
With crumbling infrastructure statewide, a skyrocketing population and dwindling funds, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is hoping social media will come to the rescue.
“Social media is a great communications tool for us," said CDOT spokesperson Tamara Rollison.
Rollison says there are 100 priority projects that need to be completed in the next 10 years at a cost of $6 billion. There's just one problem.
“Right now we don't have that funding to be able to build these projects.,” said Rollison. “But we're doing everything we can.”
"Everything" includes utilizing social media. CDOT is now targeting their 100,000 Facebook followers and more than 200,000 Twitter followers to spread awareness about future projects.
“Millennials, it's younger people, it's older people. It's all across the board, especially with Facebook,” Rollison said.
CDOT’s "Together We Go" site identifies the road projects of greatest concern. They include 1-70 in Clear Creek County and Jefferson County, the Speer and 23rd Avenue bridges and the Tech Center boondoggle at 1-225 and 1-25. Rollison says drumming up support for the projects through news media and community meetings is effective, but social media provides the biggest bang for their dwindling bucks.
“In communication, we're always looking at the latest ways and most effective ways to get information out,” she said. “Social media is a powerful way to get that information out.”
And in desperate times, Facebook is proving an effective measure to keep Coloradans informed and engaged, and drum up public support for future projects.
“They like using Facebook,” said Rollison. “They scroll through it, they see something. Maybe they like what we are doing. Maybe they don't. They give us their opinion. That's great because it gives us an idea of what the public thinks.”
Meanwhile, Scott Hild says he applauds CDOT's efforts, but he’s skeptical that social media is the answer when it comes to fixing Colorado's roads.
“I’d be interested in what the website might say, but there's no quick fix to what we have going on,” he said.
For more information on any of CDOT’'s projects, click here.