CDOT to receive audit following state committee decision |

CDOT to receive audit following state committee decision

Rep. Dylan Roberts, of Avon, votes in favor of audit

A photo of Interstate 70 on Vail Pass, taken Monday, supplied by the Colorado Department of Transportation. The department will receive an audit following a decision by the state legislative audit committee.
Colorado Department of Transportation/Courtesy photo

The Colorado Department of Transportation will receive a full audit following a Monday decision by the state’s Legislative Audit Committee.

Rep. Dylan Roberts voted in favor of the audit.

”As a member of the Legislative Audit Committee and as Eagle and Routt County’s representative, I joined with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move forward with this audit,“ Roberts said.

The audit will be the first the department has received since 2019 when an audit recommended CDOT do the following:

• Routinely analyze budget-to-actual data.

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• Implement policies and processes to routinely analyze vendor and payment data for suspicious patterns or anomalies.

• Develop reports and implement policies to evaluate the timeliness of construction project closure and release of unused funds.

• Implement controls over the cost, duration and scope of work in master task order contracts.

Colorado contractors have expressed frustration with big projects going to out-of-state contractors, and the subsequent lack of information about those jobs that CDOT hesitates to share in an effort to protect the trade secrets of the winning contractor.

An audit will reveal that information, as well as information about the bid process which will fix any issues with fairness, Roberts said.

“Maybe there is nothing wrong with this process but if there is, we should fix it immediately and an audit will help us know the full picture,“ Roberts said. ”I look forward to the results and will gladly help lead any necessary reform efforts.”

Roberts said CDOT performs important and necessary work for the state of Colorado, “but they also do that work with taxpayer dollars so we owe it to the people of Colorado to ensure that CDOT’s bid process is efficient, fair, and transparent.”

Gov. Jared Polis, left, observes a new emergency truck ramp on I-70 in East Vail on Monday. The new truck ramp uses a straight alignment, as opposed to a right-curving alignment formerly used on the hillside to Polis’ left.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

‘It’s going to save lives’

Gov. Jared Polis toured a CDOT construction project in East Vail on Monday, saying he was happy to have the help of Kiewit Construction on the dangerous section of I-70 about 2 miles east of exit 180.

The crash rate on Vail Pass is the highest per million vehicle miles traveled in Colorado, according to information supplied by CDOT. From 2014 to 2016, Vail Pass saw 558 crashes with more than 200 people injured and requiring medical transport.

Some of the crashes discussed by CDOT on Monday involved a runaway truck ramp that had a dangerous curve in it that caused semis to roll. Kiewit straightened out that curve this fall and discussed that section of roadway with Polis on Monday.

“We’re thrilled that such great, quality work was done here,” Polis said. “It’s going to save lives and reduce traffic.”

Kiewit is based in Omaha, Nebraska.

“We have a lot of building to do, and we want to excite contractors both in Colorado and out of Colorado to get the best rates and get the most built for the resources we have,“ Polis said.

Visiting Vail Pass in August, Mark Gutknecht of Kiewit said the company has continued to work in Western Colorado since the ’70s and ’80s, when I-70 was expanding across the state and the company held offices in Fruita and Glenwood Springs.

Before that, “The company was doing work on the Eastern Plains, building bridges for U.S. highways out there, and a lot of work at Fort Carson, getting ready for the war,” Gutknecht said.

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