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Hickenlooper cites ‘Colorado priorities’ in infrastructure bill as wildfires, mudslides wreak havoc

August 7, 2021, 7:59 am
Sen. John Hickenlooper talks to fire officials during the devastating Grizzly Creek wildfire in Glenwood Canyon last summer (David O. Williams photo).

Colorado can expect to receive roughly $5 billion in direct transportation funding from the infrastructure package agreed on by a bipartisan group of senators last week, with billions more likely to flow into the state through other programs, according to new estimates.

State-specific fact sheets released by the White House on Wednesday call the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act “the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure and competitiveness in nearly a century.” The bill would allocate roughly $550 billion in new federal spending to support infrastructure projects across the country over the next five years.

Based on funding formulas used by federal transportation agencies, estimates for new federal spending in Colorado include:

  • $3.7 billion for highway programs
  • $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs
  • $917 million for public transit
  • $57 million for electric vehicle charging
  • $100 million for broadband coverage

Democratic Sen. John Hickenlooper, who was part of the bipartisan negotiating group that struck a deal on the legislation last week, also touted the “Colorado priorities” included in the bill, including billions in funding to improve Western water infrastructure. Hickenlooper secured a provision in the bill that will help the Regional Transportation District recover nearly $29 million in a deposit the agency made on a federal loan related to Denver’s Union Station.

“We must fix our crumbling infrastructure and embrace our clean energy future,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. The bill, he added, “comes in the nick of time as we face droughts, wildfires, mudslides, and aging infrastructure across Colorado and the nation.”

Editor’s note: This story first appeared on Colorado Newsline, which is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Colorado Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Quentin Young for questions: info@coloradonewsline.com. Follow Colorado Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.

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