You've Got CDOT Questions, We've Got CDOT Answers!

Want answers to your CDOT questions? CDOT Executive Director Shoshanna Lewis sent over this lengthy document with answers to ALL of your questions, so here it is, cut and pasted!

1.How much marijuana money goes into repairing our roads?

The marijuana tax funds generally support school construction, although some is used for impaired driving enforcement.

2.Do we have a pothole emergency line?

Call our customer service line. For the Denver-Metro area, the number is 303-759-2368.

3.I-70 resurfacing needed between Agate and Limon

This is an area with very deep and expansive subgrade issues. The soils can move nearly 6” during a freeze thaw cycle. There have been numerous attempt to address the pavement and find an interim solution, however they only provide a band aid and do not provide the ultimate fix. At this time the solution is to remove miles of pavement and 10-20’ of subgrade improve this problem. This is currently not budgeted as it is a very expensive fix and we have numerous other lane miles in need of repair.

4.Blue River south of Breckenridge…bad blind spots in the area, can the speed limit in the area be decreased by 5 MPH.

We are currently working with Blue River and Summit County on a number of issues in the area of Blue River. Primarily, we are working with them on an Access Management Plan and a trail plan for the area. We are looking at all aspects of the highway that could increase safety in the area through this process. If it becomes apparent that the speed limits on Hwy 9 near Blue River need re-examined, we will work with the stakeholders in the area to do so.

5.Weld County getting on highway 85 NB from CR 44, many accidents…any plans of merging lane?

We are currently designing a grade-separated intersection at the intersection of US85 and CR44. The new grade separated intersection will eliminate the skew between US85 & CR44 and will include an acceleration lane onto US85. These two changes should eliminate most of the safety issues at this intersection. Let me know if you have any other questions.

6.85 and 104th, north of 76, are there plans for a clover leaf project? Building is concerned about being relocated.

CDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)—in coordination with Adams County, and Commerce City, Thornton and Brighton—have been considering transportation improvements to US Highway 85 from I-76 to 124th Avenue in Adams County. An Environmental Assessment is in the final stages and has identified replacement of the existing at-grade signalized US 85/104th Avenue intersection with a grade-separated diamond interchange.

Additional information can be found on the project website at

It is important to note the design is only at 30 percent and at this time there is no future construction funding identified for the diamond interchange.The Environmental Assessment is expected to be complete in early 2020.

7.Santa Fe and EB Florida…two lane left, when the light goes green you get full green and turn arrow but between green and green arrow it goes to red.

This signal is operated and maintained by Denver under a contract, however, the operation described is what's called a "lagging" left turn.The left turn comes up at the end of the cycle for eastbound on Mississippi.This is normally done to facilitate signal coordination.The adjacent through phase is usually allowed to remain green for a lagging left turn phase.

CDOT is working to get additional information from Denver on the specialized operation here but it is possible that they have the through movement (at NB Santa Fe) turn red in this case so that traffic approaching the signal just in front of it (for SB Santa Fe) does not see conflicting displays when the first signal turns red (in other words, both closely-spaced signals display red).

8.What is the law with flashing yellow and red lights? Doesn’t make sense to sit at a flashing light at 1 a.m.

Per the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, a flashing "ball" indication means "proceed with caution", a flashing arrow means "yield to oncoming traffic", and a flashing red "ball" means "stop and proceed when crossing traffic is cleared", i.e. the same thing as a "stop" sign.Overnight flashing operation used to be commonplace and a handful of agencies continue this practice, however, it has gone out of favor as signal technology and vehicle detection has improved along with the practice being associated with crashes in many cases.

9.What is the reason behind the delay on NB I-25 Express Lanes project?

The remainder of the project was re-advertised to a new contractor. CDOT felt it was in the best interest for the traveling public to split the project and have the remainder of the project built separately to help maintain safety and quality for I-25 construction.

10.Traffic light at Wadsworth and Waterton Canyon by Lockheed Martin…green light turn signal stays red. Any way to make it flashing light?

Due to this left turn having two lanes and opposing a curved approach that limits sight distance, it is given a red arrow for safety reasons.We can look at the operation to see if improvements are possible, however.

11.Traffic study done about Coloradans spending $2,300 a year in car repairs and gas wasted sitting in traffic. Where do you stand on that? What difficulties have you experienced dealing with City admins working on projects?

As Colorado continues to grow, more people are travelling our roads, and we see the changes with more congestion and road condition. To manage our growth to date and what we expect to come, CDOT is in the middle of an outreach and planning process to best determine how we spend our resources and make our system work as effectively as possible. Please visit to add your perspective to this work.

12.C-470 parallel to County Line Road; WB exit to NB University…people trying to go WB on County Line are pulling across multiple lanes of traffic because there is no dedicated second right turn lane to go WB on County Line or NB on University. Center lane is straight, right, or left

There is signage at the off ramp to prevent northbound people from turning left at County Line from the free right.A hard right is required to make the left at County Line and is signed as such.From someone listening to the show, it sounded like the citizen wanted a barrier or some additional enforcement to prevent the left turn, and that is not planned as part of the C470 project.The area is actually outside the limits of the project and is signed similar to the other off ramps along C470 in restricting which ramp lane they can use to turn left at County Line.

13.Clear Creek County, road conditions of highway 6 in Golden through Clear Creek Canyon...also potholes on I-70 from Veterans Memorial Tunnels to EJMT.

A resurfacing project on US 6 is under design.There is also an interest in adding safety shoulders in various locations.This work is scheduled to occur over the next two summers -depending on the extent of the shoulder widening and how feasible it is from a rockfall and floodplain perspective. I-70 westbound from twin tunnels to Empire will be resurfaced as part of the WB I-70 Mountain Express Lanes project. Empire to Georgetown, both directions, is scheduled for resurfacing summer 2021, but it might be advanced to 2020 if it can be done without interference with the PPSL project.The road from Georgetown to EJMT was resurfaced about 3 years ago.It does take a beating with the chains and extreme weather, so some spot treatment will likely be needed in the next few years.

14.At what point in time did you decide that toll lanes are better for the state than just adding another lane to the highways?

Express toll lanes enable the state to add lane capacity while getting those projects financed in shorter time frames. Express lanes have been shown to reduce travel times both for drivers who choose to pay to use the lanes and for drivers in general lanes who face less congestion than they otherwise might.

15.Park County, traffic in the summer on 285 has one stop light…needs more traffic control. From Denver to Fairplay in Park County.

We do have a project in the works to relieve some long term pressure. We will review signal timing for any possible improvements. We have trained maintenance staff to override the signal manually to account for high volume fluctuations on the weekends.

16.What is preventing us from looking at synchronizing lights along Arapahoe Road?

Arapahoe Road uses time-based, side-street actuated coordination from 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM.This means that all of the signals along the corridor run the same cycle length with detection on side street and left turn movements extending or shortening green times for the phases associated with them.Any extra green time from the side streets is given back to Arapahoe.Coordination is achieved by setting the green time within the cycle for Arapahoe at each intersection and making this interval in time coincide with arrivals from the neighboring intersections in both directions, placing groups of vehicles in what is called a "green band."The size of the green band ideally matches the traffic demand.The spacing between signals and the speed of traffic are the primary constraints to this operation.

During peak periods, the demand along portions of Arapahoe exceeds its capacity; Arapahoe is one of our highest-volume non-freeway facilities with average daily traffic ranging from 65,000-80,000 vehicles per day depending on location.When a signalized intersection exceeds its capacity, timing and coordination changes beyond balancing delay among the conflicting approaches have diminishing impact as the intersection simply doesn't have physical space to accommodate all of the vehicles trying to go through it.The result is that traffic released from one signal upstream encounters the queue of vehicles that weren't able to get through the prior cycle at the next signal.

Finally, depending on the spacing of signals and the degree to which traffic demand is directional, the "against peak" flow may be "sacrificed" and encounter more stops to provide better synchronization in the "peak" direction.To further complicate things, the long pedestrian crossing times required to cross Arapahoe can cause a longer red light and result in an intersection going out of coordination for a period of time when a pedestrian crosses, though pedestrian activity at most of Arapahoe's signals is relatively light.

17.Someone suggested looking at Waze’s feed into a pothole reporting.

CDOT is coordinating with a number of technology companies to better share information in both directions to address issues and keep the public informed.

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