In a move to reduce traffic and congestion along a busy interstate corridor in Colorado, state transportation officials are looking at the possibility of building a passenger rail route that would link Fort Collins with the city of Trinidad, 260 miles to the south.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has issued a Request for Proposals to conduct a feasibility study for the project.
As anticipated, the expected two-year study will weigh route options along with building and operating costs.
Upon the study’s conclusion, its findings will be submitted to the Colorado State Legislature for review.
Funding for the project, once the numbers have been firmed up, could be provided in a bond measure presented to voters in what is called the Front Range tax district.
The project would be done in conjunction with the CDOT and the Southwest Chief/Front Range Passenger Rail Commission, a body created by the state legislature for the express purpose of looking at different travel options along Interstate 25.
In a statement, Shoshana Lew, CDOT executive director, said it was important for the state to look into the construction of a “robust, energy efficient, sustainable transportation system that incorporates different modes of travel and provides more choices for the movement of people and goods.”
The RFP is tasking respondents with, among other things, looking at the challenges of such a project, how the project could engender the greatest possible public support, as well as putting together a service development plan.
Bu Garry Boulard
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