Colorado drivers may pay $52 more a year |

Colorado drivers may pay $52 more a year

Ed Sealover
Rocky Mountain News
Denver, CO Colorado

Gov. Bill Ritter, flanked by legislators and highway workers, rolled out a transportation improvement plan today that will increase Coloradans’ vehicle registration fees but otherwise remains under construction.

At the heart of the plan are new fees for road maintenance and bridges that would be assessed on every vehicle, based on its weight.

The average Colorado driver would pay $52 more a year, raising an estimating $250 million annually, part of which would be leveraged to raise more money.

Ritter and the bill’s sponsors ” Democratic Rep. Joe Rice of Littleton and Democratic Sen. Dan Gibbs of Silverthorne ” called it a product of months of negotiations with transportation experts and business leaders.

Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce President Joe Blake said a good transportation system is critical to attracting new businesses to the state, and it’s also critical to keep construction jobs here.

“We are going to get something done this year, or I hope we don’t die trying when we cross a bridge that is structurally deficient,” Rice said. Much of the new revenue will go to fix roughly 125 structurally deficient bridges.

Ritter also emphasized how much work went into assuring that this plan could receive bipartisan support. However, no Republican legislators stood with him at the news conference, and several said later that the state must look to redirect more of its revenues to transportation before asking resident

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