KREMMLING – Highway 9 is one step closer to receiving CDOT funding for an ambitious safety improvement project.
Over the spring and summer, local grassroots organizations raised $9.2 million improve a 10-mile stretch of the route linking Summit and Grand counties. The highway is considered unsafe due to numerous wildlife crossings and poor site distance.
Necessary realignments, crossing and improvements for the highway have a hefty price tag – about $46 million. Local residents and interested parties hope the Colorado Department of Transportation will pick up the remaining bill through its Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships Program.
A final decision won’t be made until Oct. 17, but on Sept. 19, the Highway 9 project proposal went to the Transportation Commission for review on the Staff Recommended Project List. CDOT received a total of 166 applications requesting more than $1.5 billion, and more than twice the amount of funding available. The staff recommendation narrowed candidate projects to $630 million in partnership projects.
If approved in October, construction will begin in 2014 and is expected to take two years. The RAMP program requires projects to be completed by 2017. Grand County has pledged $3.1 million to support the project.