'Unsustainable situation'

Ritter panel to discuss Northwest Colorado needs

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— With state revenue streams drying up and demand, construction and maintenance costs escalating, providing adequate transportation for Colorado is quickly becoming an "unsustainable situation," said Evan Dreyer, a spokesman for Gov. Bill Ritter.

"We have to find a solution to what will become a major problem," Dreyer said.

For that reason, Ritter formed a blue-ribbon transportation commission to examine the state's transportation revenue challenges and make recommendations to the governor by the end of the year.

The panel is scheduled to meet from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Meeker's Fairfield Center, 200 Main St. The discussion, the first transportation panel meeting hosted outside the Denver metro area, is open to the public.

The governor will not attend, Dreyer said. Local transportation experts from a nine-county area, including Moffat and Routt counties, will speak about Northwest Colorado transportation needs.

"We believe there will be some good discussion," Dreyer said.

Ritter convened the 30-member panel with an April kick-off meeting in Denver. Since the opening meeting, the panel has met a handful of times.

"It's mission was to work for the rest of the year and explore issues around transportation financing," Dreyer said.

Among the officials slated to appear today in Meeker is Russ George, Colorado Department of Transportation executive director, who will provide a transportation overview at 9:15 a.m.

Other presentations will include issues surrounding rural transportation, energy-industry impacts and severance tax.

The transportation panel will next meet July 12 in Pueblo at the Pueblo Convention Center.

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or jroberts@craigdailypress.com.

Comments

Neal Harkner 7 years, 2 months ago

Stay alert! Crap like this seems to lead to "public-private partnerships." That phrase is a euphemism for "for-profit toll roads." The state will say "we don't have enough money to build the roads and raising the gas tax would be too costly. The only hope we have is selling roads for up-front cash payments." That is complete garbage.

The Federal Gas Tax (not the Colorado one) hasn't been raised in 14 years. Raise it 15 cents a gallon and we'll have enough money to build FREE roads for the next 25 years or more. Here's a quick figure for ya.

Say the state decides to toll I-70 from Denver to Vail at 11 cents per mile. That's approx 100 miles. 100 * 0.11 = $11 each way in tolls.

If you have a car that gets 30mpg, and it has a 15 gallon gas tank, you can go 450 miles on a tankful. If we raise the gas tax 15 cents a gallon it will cost you an additional $2.25 a tank (15 * 0.15).

Create a tollway - round-trip from Denver to Vail = $22 Raise the Fed Gas Tax 15 cents - round-trip from Denver to Vail = $2.25

Cost per mile Tollway: 11 cents/mile Gas Tax: 0.005 cents/mile ($2.25 per tank/450 miles per tank)

As the population in the valley continues to grow, I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone brings up the idea of tolling Highway 40 between Craig and Steamboat in some fashion - either with high speed toll lanes or widening and tolling the whole thing.

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Neal Harkner 7 years, 2 months ago

Need to amend that slightly. It should be half a cent instead of 0.005 cents.

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