Colorado’s Innovative Infrastructure Solutions

The state of Colorado has a long history of paving a way to progress

Colorado has a long history of trailblazing and collaboration. We work together to create aColorado that works for everyone. We have one of the best economies in the country. We are among the top states for business, careers and innovation. We are a destination for outdoor recreation, as well as countless musical and cultural activities.

But success breeds new challenges, and we’ve got to solve for our transportation strain. Like other states with major urban centers and vast rural areas, Colorado has an aging infrastructure. With the gas tax unchanged since 1992, more fuel-efficient cars on the road and normal inflation, we have a transportation funding problem. Over the next decade, Colorado has projected nine billion dollars of unmet transportation needs, and that need will only grow. A lack of funding combined with exploding population growth could possibly strangle our success. We can argue about the role of government until the cows come home, but most of us agree that infrastructure is necessary for economic success. Without good roads, bridges and public transit, Colorado is like a shiny new truck — without gas.

The good news is that we have some ideas for how to fix this. One solution has already helped: doing more with less. Colorado is leading the way as a state that stretches every dollar and squeezes every penny. We’re a low-tax state. My mother used to say, “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” Yet in Colorado, just like other states around the country, we see incredible leaps in economic progress when we invest in our infrastructure, like when businessmen raised funds to ensure the railroad came to Colorado, or when we created one of the country’s first gas taxes in the early 1900s. In 1995, we opened the world-class Denver International Airport. A decade later we launched FasTracks, the country’s largest transit and rail investment at the time. Each reshaped our transportation landscape and changed how we chose to travel.

Another solution is through innovation. We have innovated through signature project designs and construction, like the Eisenhower Johnson Tunnel through the Rocky Mountains. With the development of Glenwood Canyon in the 1980s, we set the national model for environmentally-sensitive design and construction. Our current Central 70 project has created an unprecedented local workforce development program.

We are one of the nation’s leaders in public-private partnerships, which leverage private sector innovations and investments to bring much needed projects to the public. Bold thinking like this helps us keep up with our growing state and enhance our economic vitality.

We’re engaging a culture of innovation and partnership to harness technology’s ability to transform our transportation system. Our RoadX Program launched the world’s first autonomous beer truck delivery, first autonomous impact protection vehicle and first commercial grade connected transportation system. Our partnerships with the private sector in mobility innovation are paying dividends. We are positioned to become a hub for companies researching how we can leverage transportation technology and how we can deploy it on Colorado roads to improve safety and mobility.

The Colorado way is an ongoing blueprint for how the nation can tackle our transportation challenges.

John Hickenlooper has served as the 42nd Governor of Colorado since his inauguration in 2011. More information on his tenure can be found at www.colorado.gov/governor 

Colorado Infrastructure Facts:
  • Colorado is the 8th largest and 21st most populated state in the U.S.
  • As of 2017, Colorado’s estimated population is 5,607,154.
  • Interstate 25 is the state’s primary north-south highway, while Interstate 70 is its primary east-west highway.
  • Denver International Airport is the 4th busiest U.S. airport and 18th busiest in the world.
  • Colorado has extensive intra- and intercity public transit services, including the Regional Transportation District which provides 170-light-rail vehicles.
  • Colorado is home to four national parks, eight national monuments, two national historic sites, 11 national forests, 44 state parks, and more!

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