It was very satisfying to read that some county commissioners have recognized the importance of State Highway 13, and are pushing for reconstruction of that vital link (Post Independent, July 10, 2018), something I have lobbied for for several years. In fact, about four years ago, I prepared and presented to most or all of the rural boards a plan for modernizing all rural state highways in Colorado. That plan is below.
A program for modernizing rural state highways (Modernizing meaning bringing to reasonable current design standards)
Identify rural state highways. Have each Transportation Planning region (TPR) prepare a list of rural highways having an average daily traffic of more than 5,000 vehicles per day that they feel should be included in the program. These lists should be reviewed and approved by the Regional Director (RD) for that area.
Develop a preliminary cost estimate for modernization to current standards using information currently available on file.
Using the cost estimate developed in step 2 establish a 20 year (or more) program to complete modernization or rural state highways. At least every other year have RD’s bring cost-to-complete estimates up to date in a manner as was done for the Federal Interstate Highway Program during the ‘60s-’80s. This would be best done by comparing costs with other recently completed projects.
Source of funds would be share of money made available by the end of paying off T-REX bonds.
Have TPRs establish priorities for developing a construction program. At this stage some low volume, low priority highways might be eliminated after discussion between the TPR and the RD.
Develop a 5-year plan for construction. Preliminary engineering could begin on projects in the 5-year plan.
Issue yearly construction programs based on the above.
District Engineer, Retired