Colorado toll road bill meets demise, once again

| 3/27/2007

A retooled effort in the Colorado statehouse to increase regulation of toll roads in the state has once again been sidelined.

Sen. Suzanne Williams, D-Aurora, asked members of the Senate Transportation Committee to kill a bill that she had introduced to protect residents from proposed private routes. It was focused on the Front Range Toll Road Company's proposed 210-mile Prairie Falcon Parkway Expressway, often referred to as the "Super Slab."

Williams cited a lack of support among residents affected by the planned route for her decision, The Associated Press reported.

The bill - HB1068 - initially required private road builders to meet more benchmarks before they could file plans to build roads. The measure was later scaled back by its House sponsor, Rep. Marsha Looper, D-Calhan, to only remove from property owners' records the disclaimers of interest by Front Range to anyone within the proposed three-mile-wide path of the corridor.

Looper said the only reason she changed the bill was to pick up the votes needed to pass the House, The Pueblo Chieftain reported.

Looper said she would like to see lawmakers study the issue this summer and look at repealing the 19th century state law that allows private groups to build roads. The law was intended to promote road building to mining camps.