Carl K. Chapman: Empty promises for Highway 13 rebuilding

— Empty promises for Highway 13 rebuilding

Dear editor,

I've read all of the articles on Highway 13 north and I thought I'd bring folks up to date on the history of that road.

I was a high school student in the mid 1950s, attending what is now the middle school, when the Colorado State Highway Department began the rebuilding job on that highway.

They bragged about how they were going to work on that project every year until it reached the state line.

Here it is 50 years later and for you folks in your 20s and 30s, you might be a little concerned. I won't see it done in my lifetime unless we get some of our money back that's been spent on the Front Range highways.

The last time I went to Denver, I came back by way of Berthoud Pass. To my amazement, all of the fancy brick walks and super wide highways with nice guardrails made it to the summit. When I dropped over the top, the west side was lucky to have a road, let alone guard rails.

Then I realized - Front Range and the Western Slope.

So folks, it'll be years before they do anything here.

Sincerely,

Carl K. Chapman

P.S. To all of you good Colorado Republicans who helped vote in this Democratic governor, that was the same as leaving the chicken house door open so the fox could get in. You'll still have chores to do - just with fewer eggs in the basket.

Comments

Neal Harkner 6 years, 8 months ago

Err make that 2003 Highway Bill 2005. That is all :)

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Neal Harkner 6 years, 8 months ago

What does the governor's political affiliation have to do with the price of tea in China? The State of Colorado can only contribute so much to road construction. Like it or not a majority of the population lives on the Front Range. They take priority.

The Feds kick in most of the money that's spent on road construction via the Federal Gasoline Tax. Consider this: The Federal Gasoline Tax hasn't been raised since 1993. Coincidentally 1994 was the year Republicans took over the US House, the chamber responsible for crafting tax legislation.

The last highway bill was passed in 2003 when Republicans still controlled both the house and the Senate. The bill contained record amounts of pork, the biggest piece of which was the Alaskan "Bridge to Nowhere," a huge earmark forced into the bill by Sen. Ted Stevens-(R) Alaska. Senator Stevens is currently under investigation by the FBI and the IRS for taking bribes.

If you want the infrastructure maintained correctly and for the lowest cost, the Federal Gas Tax needs to immediately be raised 15 cents a gallon and indexed for inflation. In addition to that the funding process needs to be reformed so that each state gets back EXACTLY what it contributes. For every dollar the state of Texas contributes, they get 88 cents back. Thanks to the Bridge to Nowhere, Alaska received $6 back for every dollar paid in. If a state needs more money than the Feds provide, THEN and ONLY THEN, look into alternative financing. Alaska could EASILY use the oil revenue they generate to build and maintain their infrastructure.

Also the apportioning process needs to be changed to stop doling out money for "wants" over "needs." Highway bills can no longer be held hostage in committee like Senator Stevens did to the 2003 bill.

Either you raise the gas tax or you sell the roads and drive on tollways everywhere you go.

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