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Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


SAFE, ACCOUNTABLE, FLEXIBLE, EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT: A LEGACY FOR USERS -- (Senate - July 29, 2005)

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Mr. SALAZAR. Mr. President, I rise in strong support of the transportation reauthorization bill. This bill is long overdue and will provide Colorado and our Nation with investments to improve our transportation infrastructure.

I regret that this bill could not do more to correct the fundamental injustice that States like Colorado--a donor State--suffer under our highway funding system.

Nonetheless, Colorado does get much needed relief in this bill. It will receive a 46.7 percent increase over the last time this bill was reauthorized. That's the largest percentage increase under this bill and more than any other State. That is $156 million more over the life of the bill than we received under the previous transportation bill, TEA-21.

This increase in transportation funding to Colorado will help ensure that the highest level of our transportation infrastructure is maintained. Having a first-class transportation system is critical to Colorado. Transportation infrastructure is critical to the health and vitality of our State, from the Eastern Plains to the West Slope, and from Weld County to Conejos County, Coloradans depend on safe and wel1-funded highways.

Recognizing our State's varied needs, I worked hard with the Colorado Department of Transportation and with counties and municipalities across the state to ensure these precious tax dollars will be well spent. I am especially happy with our efforts to secure authorizations for the following highway projects: I-70/Havana/Yosemite; Wadsworth and U.S. 36 Broomfield interchange; Wadsworth Bypass, Grandview Grade Separation; U.S. 287 Ports to Plains Corridor; I-70 and SH58 interchange; improvements to Powers Blvd. and Woodman Rd. interchange; improvements to I-25S, Douglas, Arapaho County line to EI Paso; improvements to U.S. 36; improvements to U.S. 24--Tennessee Pass; improvements to Bromley Lane and U.S. 85 Interchange; improvements to 104th and U.S. 85 Interchange; improvements to I-25 North, Denver to Ft. Collins; improvements to I-70 East multimodal corridor; improvements to Parker and Arapaho Rd. Interchange; improvements to I-225, Parker Road to I-70; improvements to I-70 West Mountain Corridor, Denver to Garfield; improvements to I-76--Northeast Gateway; improvements to C470 and U.S. 85 Interchange; improvements to Wadsworth and Bowles intersection; improvements to U.S. 160, Wolf Creek Pass; Fort Carson I-25 and Highway 16 interchange; U.S. 50 East Pueblo to Kansas border; Heartland Expressway improvements; I-25 Denver to Ft. Collins improvements; Pueblo Dillon Drive at I-25 overpass and ramp; Denver Union Station improvements; improvements to 56th and Quebec Street; U.S. 550 New Mexico State Line to Durango; SH 121 Bowles Ave. intersection and Ridgeway; improvements, Jefferson County, CO; construction of McCaslin Blvd., U.S. 36 interchange in Superior; I-70 East Multimodal Corridor to Denver; SH 83--SH 88 interchange reconstruction, Arapaho County; improve to SH44 from CO Boulevard; improvements to SH550 btw Grand Avenue, N/S of city; improvements on U.S. 36 corridor from I-25 to Boulder.

Earlier this month I met with community leaders in Colorado Springs to discuss their efforts to prepare for the influx of troops and their families associated with BRAC changes and the redeployment of the Army's 4th Infantry Division to Fort Carson. Community leaders were united in their desire to see improvements and upgrades of the interchange of I-25 and Highway 16 at Fort Carson. The upgrade of this interchange is of vital importance to ensure that traffic flows freely into Fort Carson and along I-25.

I am pleased that we were able to secure $5 million for that project, and that my Colorado colleague Senator ALLARD was able to secure an additional $3 million for that project. Unfortunately, the final report of the transportation bill being passed today did not include the correct highway number for this project. The report wrongly lists Highway 12, rather than rightly listing highway 16. I will seek a correction of this in the technical corrections bill later this year.

This is an important bill, and I am happy to support it.

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