AASHTO Journal, 16 August 2013
The Colorado Department of Transportation announced Monday that 95 percent of the state’s bridges were rated in fair or good condition, just four years after implementing the Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery (FASTER) legislation.
In 2009, legislators enacted FASTER, which created the Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE) to finance, rehabilitate, and replace structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges.
“Since the CBE’s focus is to address the poor bridges in our state, motorists can see improvements in every part of the state, not just the urban areas,” said CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt in a statement. “By replacing these poor bridges, we are improving our highway infrastructure and creating a safer trip for our motorists.”As of the end of July, the CBE has been responsible for replacing 53 bridges, though another 22 are under construction and 33 more are currently in the design phase. The program is funded through a bridge safety surcharge (between $13 and $32, based on each vehicle’s weight) paid during vehicle registration. Revenue from the fee was phased in during a three-year period and estimated to bring in $100 million in funding for these bridge repairs each year.
“While we have made tremendous progress on replacing poor bridges, we know our work isn’t over yet,” said CDOT Bridge Engineer Joshua Laipply. “With much of our highway system built in the 1950s and 1960s, more bridges will fall into the ‘poor’ category in the coming months and years. However, with the CBE and a dedicated funding source, we can continue to focus on replacing these poor bridges and improving our highway infrastructure.”
Additional information on the Colorado Bridge Enterprise, including a list of all included bridges and their status’, is available here.