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Dwindling highway funds could impact Colorado roads

Dwindling highway funds could impact Colorado roads

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - If you think your commute time now is bad, it could soon be even worse.

The Federal Highway Trust Fund, which pays for state bridges and highways, could run out of money as early as August.

If Congress doesn't come up with a solution, the U.S. Transportation Department says it will start pulling back funding for state projects, which could impact construction on Colorado roads.

"If congress doesn't resolve this issue, then CDOT will have to make some tough decisions as far as projects to be funded," Colorado Department of Transportation spokesperson Bob Wilson said.

The lack of funding leaves some future projects up in the air, but Wilson says there is a plan in place to complete current highway construction projects.

"Right now we're in pretty good shape and we're going to be using our existing cash balances to keep existing projects moving on." Wilson said. "Any project you see underway right now, will continue to move forward. We do have balances on hand to cover those costs."

The looming highway trust fund issue is just another bump in the road for Colorado Springs drivers. Construction crews continue work on an 11-mile expansion of I-25 from Colorado Springs to Monument. Some drivers tell NewsChannel 13 they are feeling the effects of construction delays.

"The traffic problems are everywhere. It is summer time in the Rockies when everyone does road construction," said John Bagwill. "It just seems like there are no alternative routes that don't also require an alternative route. Everything is just slow."

Wilson says the I-25 Expansion Project will be completed by Labor Day, but that's not soon enough for Black Forest resident Scott Riebel.

"It's another one of those never-ending projects," Reibel said. "It seems like Woodmen Road construction lasted for 20 years, and now here we go with the freeway. It's tiring."

Wilson said CDOT is waiting for Congress to take action.

"We're crossing our fingers so this gets resolved sooner rather than later so we don't have any kind of work stoppages," Wilson said.

But others aren't so optimistic.

"It doesn't seem like they (Congress) can work together like they used to," Bagwill said. "Roads are just one of the problems for them. They're as much in the way as they are a solution."

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