A bill that paves the way for
construction of a private toll road on the plains of the Front Range region
gained approval from the Colorado House Feb. 8.
State representatives voted 62-3
to give a private company power to acquire land from north of Fort Collins to
the south of Pueblo to build a high-speed toll road about 25 miles east of the
Interstate 25 corridor.
Ray Wells, president of the Front
Range Toll Road Co, said the road would appeal to truckers who want to bypass
the congested corridor that links Front Range communities.
Current law enacted in the 19th century authorizes each county to set the toll rates within its boundaries.
Under the proposal, offered by
Rep. Jim Sullivan, R-Larkspur, the state’s tolling agency and the Front Range
Toll Road Co. would be allowed to set a uniform toll for the entire length of
The cost of the proposed 210-mile
route is estimated at $2 billion.
The project would include a new
railroad route for coal and other freight as well as right of way for potential
commuter or light rail lines and utilities.
Sullivan’s bill does not specify a
Rep. Jim Welker, R-Loveland,
recently told The Daily Times-Call that motorists in a hurry would have
the option of paying tolls to use a highway with an 85-mph speed limit.
The only access intersections
would be at state and federal highways along the route. Commercial development
along the corridor right of way would be limited to “service pods” for food,
fuel and lodging, the newspaper reported.
HB1030 now moves to the Senate for