Study: State short $1 billion a year for transportation needs |

Study: State short $1 billion a year for transportation needs

Summit Daily/Reid Williams With CDOT's finances in trouble, maintenance and projects - such as repairing the mottled bridge expansion joints on Highway 9 near the Frisco roundabout - will be put on hold.

DENVER – Colorado faces a $1 billion a year shortfall for its transportation, operating and construction needs, a legislative council report revealed this week.

The report is a five-year outlook of Colorado’s funding needs.”These projections are based only on what’s needed to keep road conditions, traffic congestion and building maintenance at its current levels,” said House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver. “These are not numbers we would use to actually improve these things which presumably we should be doing.”

Over the next five years, the state’s general fund operating budget shortfall is estimated to be between $325 million and $484 million annually.The transportation shortfall ranges from $1.32 billion and $1.41 billion each year, according to the report.

Lawmakers have already been forced to raid cash funds and perform one-time accounting gimmicks to balance the budget and fund vital services such as health care and education. And because the state is locked into a recession-level budget, other projects, including highway maintenance and bridge repairs, will likely be forced to go unfunded. Lawmakers are currently working on a proposal that would change the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and allow the state to keep excess tax revenue to fund necessary services.

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