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Dec 14, 2012 6:28 PM by Andy Koen

Governor's transportation plan should accelerate local road projects

DENVER - Governor John Hickenlooper announced plans Friday to spend $1.5 billion over the next five years to fast track transportation improvement projects across the state. The Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships (RAMP) program will give the Colorado Department of Transportation an additional $300 million each year to spend on highway projects.

Rob MacDonald, the Executive Director of the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, suggested the new funding could speed up major local road projects like the US-24 corridor expansion.

"This is great news for the people of our region," MacDonald said. "It effectively means that some major projects that were on a 3-5 year timeframe to begin will move forward as early as next year."

MacDonald said PPACG will be working with CDOT to determine which projects meet the criteria for the RAMP program and expects to know by January or February of 2013.

"It is likely that the projects chosen will be associated with improvements to the three strategic corridors in our region: I-25, Powers Blvd and U.S. 24 west," MacDonald said.

Hickenlooper estimates the money will create or sustain more than 10,500 jobs.

"This change in fiscal management will allow CDOT to make improvements to the state's transportation system and give the construction industry a needed boost," he said. "The program doesn't solve the state's long-term transportation needs, but it does accelerate many projects that might otherwise have had to sit longer."

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