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CDOT ID's sources to solidify funding for Cimarron/I-25

       Good news has surfaced on the funding for the Cimarron/I-25 interchange.
       After the revelation last month that a portion of the $95 million project's funding was in doubt, the matter appears to have been resolved by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
       “It's awesome news, now that it's fully funded, said Sallie Clark, a county commissioner and board member. “They've [CDOT] been trying to find the money.”
       Another welcome aspect, she pointed out, is that CDOT's solution will require no additional money from local governments. Previously, local governments had put in $6 million ($5 million from Colorado Springs and $1 million from El Paso County) to help with costs. Typically, interchanges on a US interstate are funded with state and federal dollars.
       CDOT announced earlier this year a basic schedule for Cimarron/I-25 construction from 2015 to 2017.
       The money shortfall had surfaced at the Febuary PPACG board meeting. Referring to the solidity of $18.5 million CDOT had claimed was available for part of the Cimarron/I-25 funding package, PPACG Director Rob MacDonald compared it to “jello tied to a tree.” CDOT Region 2 Transportation Director Tom Wrona acknowledged the uncertainty and said he was working to fix it.
       The agenda packet for March 12 states that the funding concern actually totals $57 million of the $95 million. Accompanying agenda-packet tables show the revised CDOT strategy attains a new total of just under $97 million. Predominant among the four new funding sources are about $40 million from the “7th Pot” (established by the state in 1996 and in which Cimarron had been a lower priority) and about $22 million from FASTER (funded mainly by state car registration fees). Tapped for about $5 million are separate state and federal bridge funds. Remaining in the mix are the local $6 million and a grant of $24 million pledged last year through the state's Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships (RAMP).
       Update, March 12:
       The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments (PPACG) Board of Directors considered the matter as an action item at its monthly meeting Wednesday, March 12, but tabled it to April after being told by CDOT representatives they need more time to pin down the final details. But no doubt was expressed about the funding, and Wrona said the extra month will cause no delay in the project schedule. PPACG Board Chair Dennis Hisey thanked CDOT for its efforts, as did MacDonald.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 3/10/14, updated 3/12/14; Transportation: Cimarron/I-25)

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