Colorado road conditions going downhill |

Colorado road conditions going downhill

Jeffrey Leib
the denver post
(RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)Work is clearly needed on this patch of pavement on East Colfax Avenue, at Lincoln Street, outside the state Capitol.

For the first time since Colorado transportation officials started documenting road conditions, more than half of all CDOT-maintained roads are in poor condition, according to an agency analysis.

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s annual pavement assessment, first conducted 10 years ago, found 52 percent of the 9,144 miles of highways the agency is responsible for are in poor condition, CDOT engineer Stephen Henry said Wednesday in a briefing to the Colorado Transportation Commission. The rest are either in fair or good condition.

The pavement-survey numbers are dour, and the prospect of finding enough money to do something meaningful about them appears to be remote.

Transportation Commission member Doug Aden of Grand Junction said the gap between money available for surface treatment and the amount needed shows “how grossly underfunded this department is.”

“This is an area where the public will quickly see the consequences: the deterioration of the roads,” said Aden, who served on a special transportation finance panel set up by Gov. Bill Ritter to seek new sources of road and bridge funding.

If CDOT continues with its current forecast of spending about $260 million annually on road-surface treatment over the next 20 years, 78 percent of highways will be in poor condition by 2030, according to the agency’s analysis.


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