Transportation

Colorado Department of Transportation Facebook

The Spring Fire burning in southern Colorado is now 55% contained, up from 43% on Saturday. It's burned 106,985 acres. The Colorado Department of Transportation has reopened Highway 160 between La Veta and Fort Garland. Colorado Highway 12 remains closed from La Veta to Cuchara Pass. Colorado 69 will also stay closed from near Walsenburg to the Huerfano/Custer County Line. Local traffic will be allowed on 69; proof of residence is required.

Ken Lund / Wikimedia Commons

Colorado will be the first state in the country to test out so-called "smart pavement" on a stretch of highway this year.  The goal of these high tech roads is to make drivers safer.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is partnering with Integrated Roadways to install a half mile of high-tech road panels on a mountainous stretch of highway just outside of Denver later this year. Peter Kozinski is the director of CDOT’s $2.75 million “smart pavement” pilot project.

If you've already tried to get away for the long holiday weekend or are planning on leaving soon, you probably know this: the highways, airports and train stations are packed with like-minded folks trying to get out of town for the unofficial start of the summer vacation season.

Planes, trains and automobiles are overrun with Memorial Day weekend travelers and those who study traffic analytics say even people who slipped out on Thursday to beat the traffic were greeted by gridlock in many cities.

Colorado lawmakers wrapped up their annual legislative session this week. Even though the session was often overshadowed by sexual harassment allegations and the expulsion of former Rep. Steve Lebsock, lawmakers and the governor said it was one of the most successful sessions in history

A jagged crack suddenly appeared in a window aboard a Southwest Airlines 737 on Wednesday, startling passengers and forcing the pilot on the Chicago-to-Newark flight to divert to Cleveland, where he made a safe landing.

Thousands of Colorado teachers spent two days rallying at the state Capitol for higher salaries and more money for schools. They highlighted long-standing funding problems and potential changes to the state’s public employee pension program currently being debated by the legislature.

Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland spoke with Brian Eason of The Associated Press and Ed Sealover with the Denver Business Journal about the rallies.

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered inspections of fan blades on some jet engines of the same type as the one that blew apart on a Southwest Airlines flight, causing the death of a passenger and injuring seven others.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia's medical examiner says Jennifer Riordan, who died on the Dallas-bound Boeing 737 flight, was killed by blunt trauma to her head, neck and torso when she was partially blown out a cabin window shattered by engine debris. Federal inspectors say Riordan, 43, was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

Colorado Springs Airport Instagram/cosairport

The Colorado Springs Airport is open again today after a three-alarm fire Monday night prompted its closure and the cancellation of all commercial flights Tuesday. 

HopSkipDrive

Denver just became the first city in the region to offer an Uber-like rideshare service focused on kids. And the business model seems to be gaining some traction.

91.5 KRCC

For the second year in a row, Colorado lawmakers are working on a way to provide funding for the states roadways. In 2017 it was a proposed tax measure that failed. This time around it’s a bonding plan that would lock the state into annual payments coming from the general fund. This is where Democrats and Republicans disagree on the plan.

USDOT

The collapse of a pedestrian bridge in Miami last week is raising questions about "accelerated bridge construction," something that happens across the country and here in the Mountain West. These so-called "instant bridges" are where most of the bridge is built off-site and then installed.

John Suthers State of the City 2016 / Colorado Springs

El Paso County Commissioners are holding another public meeting on plans to expand I-25 between Monument and Castle Rock.

Lawmakers inside the capitol are grappling with how to put more money into transportation, a priority for both parties. Now, the issue will be debated statewide because of a group of statewide ballot proposals. Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland talked to Brian Eason with the Denver Post and Marianne Goodland with Colorado Politics about the chances of passage – and what it means for the current legislative session.

David Shankbone / Creative Commons

A recent report by The National Safety Council estimates annual traffic fatalities are down slightly across the country.  But Wyoming and Colorado seem to be bucking that trend.  

I-25 Gap Project Subject Of Public Meetings

Jan 30, 2018
John Suthers State of the City 2016 / Colorado Springs

The Colorado Department of Transportation is hosting a series of meetings in Colorado Springs and Monument on the I-25 Gap project, as well as two telephone town halls.

The transportation bill backed by Senate Republicans in Colorado gets its first hearing on Tuesday. Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland talked to Ed Sealover with the Denver Business Journal and Marianne Goodland with Colorado Politics about that and other issues as part of our weekly series during the legislative session.

A Look Back At Our Top 5 Most Popular Stories Of 2017

Jan 4, 2018
Clockwise from top left: Courtesy Jodene Parlapiano; Steve Wilson; Partnership for Community Design; CS Pioneers Museum; Andrea Chalfin

Before we shut the book on 2017 once and for all, we'd like to take one last opportunity to reflect on the year that was. What better way than to revisit the stories from this past year that made the biggest impression on you, our loyal readers and listeners. 

Arrivo Press Materials

Colorado will soon be home to a test facility for an experimental new high-speed transportation system. The company Arrivo has announced plans to build a test track in the Denver metro area.

Arrivo was created by a co-founder of Hyperloop, and like that company, its system uses magnetic levitation to move passengers at high speeds -- up to 200mph. But where Hyperloop aims to connect multiple cities across hundreds of miles, Arrivo is focused on shortening commutes within a given metro region.

A project to create a passenger rail line from Fort Collins to Pueblo – and even further – is still in its early stages. The Southwest Chief and Front Range Passenger Rail Commission in charge of the project briefed state lawmakers on Thursday.

Jacob Riger, the vice-chair of the Commission said the group would spend part of next year establishing a preferred route for the line.

Hyperloop One

High-speed transportation along Colorado's Front Range just moved a small but significant step forward, as a route connecting Cheyenne, Wyoming to Pueblo, Colorado was selected as one of ten winners worldwide in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge.

Steve Wilson / Flickr - Creative Commons

The state commission tasked with looking into passenger rail on Colorado's Front Range is getting to work.  The committee is an expansion of the previous Southwest Chief commission, and still tasked with working to preserve and improve the long-distance Amtrak route that travels through southern Colorado, as well as connect it to Pueblo.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

CDOT will need ten times the $1.88 billion dollars awarded this legislative session for infrastructure projects around the state, says executive director Shailen Bhatt. That money was approved by lawmakers in a last minute deal after a sweeping transportation bill failed at the statehouse last month

Holly Pretsky / 91.5 KRCC

A recent report on bicycle accessibility shows some areas where Colorado Springs biking infrastructure could improve. 

The report is part of the city's Bicycle Master Plan. It found that only 0.7% of Colorado Springs residents commute on bikes, compared to 1.3% statewide. Among other things, it also brought up frequent high speed limits as an impediment to safe biking. 

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

If lawmakers won't address the issue of transportation, several groups say they will, through a ballot initiative asking Colorado voters to raise taxes to improve roads, bridges and transit projects.

One of the most important advocates of the plan to increase taxes in the legislature was an unlikely ally, the Senate's top Republican. But he couldn't prevent members of his own party from defeating House Bill 1242 at the end of April.

KIRK SIEGLER / KUNC

Transportation funding, the highest legislative priority for the governor and leaders in both parties, failed in the Republican-controlled Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, April 25.

91.5 KRCC

Colorado's legislative session is starting to wind down, but two of the major policy goals are unraveling.

Getting more money for transportation infrastructure projects and transit is one of them. A bill that would send a sales tax increase to voters cleared the Democratic House and its first Senate committee. But Republican Senate President Kevin Grantham now says he doesn't have enough Republican Party support for the measure to pass the Finance committee.

KIRK SIEGLER / KUNC

Tempers are flaring in the final weeks of Colorado's legislative session and some of the top priorities for lawmakers are in serious jeopardy of failing.

Steve Wilson / Flickr - Creative Commons

The state's Southwest Chief commission, tasked with preserving Amtrak's Southwest Chief long-distance passenger rail route through southern Colorado, is set to expand its mission.

91.5 KRCC

A proposal to get more money for Colorado's aging and congested transportation system is on its legislative journey. The bipartisan bill, a top priority for legislative leaders and the governor, would send the question of a sales tax increase to voters and allow the state to borrow $3.5 billion for roads and infrastructure. The first committee hearing lasted about seven hours.  

Wednesday was a long day at the State Capitol. Eighty people signed up to testify on a massive transportation funding bill that if passed, would ultimately end up before voters in the fall.

During a more than seven-hour hearing before the House Transportation and Energy Committee people expressed lots of thoughts on how to improve Colorado’s roads -- and how to pay for them. Lawmakers also offered several dozen changes to House Bill 1242 but, in the end, the measure passed along party lines.

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