CDOT budget limited to maintenance only on Hwy. 13

RBC — “You’ll probably not like the news we have to deliver here by the time the day is over,” Weldon Allen, regional director for the Colorado Department of Transportation, began his annual update to the Rio Blanco County Board of Commissioners May 12. “We’re going to experience a lot of cuts this year.”
Apparently, even the transportation department is experiencing the backlash of higher gas prices. Because the state’s system for taxing gasoline is a flat rate per gallon, higher prices at the pumps don’t equate to more dollars in CDOT’s budget. Coupled with higher construction costs and changes in the Federal funding system, transportation funding is “flatlined,” according to Allen.
For the 14 county CDOT region that encompasses Rio Blanco County, the department is shifting completely to a maintenance program and away from a construction program.
For Highway 13, that means residents can expect the completion of current projects, but should not anticipate new projects getting underway in the near future without an influx of funding coming in.
CDOT officials said they will use existing funds to continue planning and design, having projects ready to proceed if and when the money is available. Highway 13 comes in second on the region’s priority list.
CDOT District 6 Regional Commissioner George Krawzoff said he’s been sharing the same message with Colorado residents and representatives statewide. “That highway out there does not belong to CDOT, it belongs to the people of Colorado. We’re strictly stewards of that system. Our wish, our desire, is that we’d be able to go out there and do whatever needs to be done.”