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News

Commissioners and CDOT unite to accelerate Highway 85 construction in Douglas County

Citizens benefit from voter approval of Nov. Ballot 1A and new revenue to fix “mini gap.”

Posted on January 22, 2020 2020Breaking NewsTransportation

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Motorists traveling north and south along U.S. Highway 85 between Louviers and Sedalia – known by locals as “the mini gap” – will see this 2.5 mile, two-lane stretch of highway reconstructed and widened to a four-lane divided highway, thanks to County voter-approval of Ballot Issue 1A last November, and a new cost-sharing Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

The County’s contribution to this project was $5.5 million as part of an initial IGA with CDOT in 2012 to fund final design costs and right-of-way acquisition for this segment of U.S. 85. The IGA with CDOT adopted by the Commissioners on Jan. 14 requires an additional $2.5 million County contribution – funded by revenue generated by the passage of 1A in November – bringing the County’s total share of this more than $40 million project to $8 million. Construction on this project is expected to begin in April 2020.

“In Douglas County we have a history of partnering with CDOT, as well as others, to improve the State Highway System we all use within our County,” said County Commissioner and Vice Chair Lora Thomas. “We recognize the need to cost-share in these primary corridors in order to sustain our mobility and improve safety,” Thomas said.

Ballot item 1A asked Douglas County voters last November to annually redirect approximately $13 million of existing revenue from the Justice Center Fund to countywide transportation improvements identified in the County’s 2040 Transportation Master Plan.

“What voters approved in November has already accelerated our ability to invest in our citizens’ top spending priority without a tax increase and without compromising public safety,” said County Commissioner and Board Chair Roger Partridge. “The existing redirected revenue will support countywide, growth management-related transportation projects, consistent with citizen feedback we received in our 2017 and 2019 countywide surveys.”

“Douglas County is recognized for our ability to leverage multiple transportation funding sources from federal, state and local governments, and private sector partners,” said County Commissioner Abe Laydon.  “The additional revenue from this voter-approved ballot measure will further our partnering opportunities on regionally significant roads in Douglas County – including municipal and state roads,” Laydon said.

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