La Junta, Colorado is about the 30th stop en route to Los Angeles from Chicago on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief. As the Southwest Chief’s rails are aging and expensive repairs are needed, La Junta is at risk of being removed from the train’s historic route.
Downtown La Junta is sprinkled with cafes and small artisan shops. There’s the Otero Museum, which documents the history of the region, and the Koshare Indian Museum, which hosts native dance programs. Bent’s Old Fort is just eight miles from downtown.
As the state examines how best to allocate transportation funding across Colorado, county-based regional advocacy groups, including southern Colorado’s Action 22, are conducting a transportation survey. KRCC’s Elaina Formby reports.
The rise of hybrid and eco-boost vehicles has led to fewer gas station fill-ups and a marked decrease in gas tax revenue. Action 22 President and CEO Cathy Garcia says this decrease contributes to a growing divide between urban and rural parts of the state.
Colorado’s Amtrak rail line in southeastern Colorado is in need of major repairs. Upgrades to the track are expected to be in the millions, and a measure is moving through the statehouse to try and find ways to finance the project and save the rail line. It’s part of a multi-state effort.
The Southwest Chief line runs through the towns of Lamar, La Junta, and Trinidad. It’s part of a longer passenger route stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles.
A bill to ban talking on cell phones while driving failed in the House Transportation Committee on Wednesday. Two Democrats joined Republicans in defeating the measure.
The hearing was emotional at times and lawmakers were brought to tears after Shelly Forney from Fort Collins testified about her 9 year old daughter Erica’s death. Erica was biking near her home when a woman talking on her cell phone hit her with her car.
Amtrak’s Southwest Chief is a long distance passenger train that travels daily from Chicago to Los Angeles. Some riders travel the full route, others use it as their primary transportation between shorter distances. The train follows the historic Santa Fe Trail, one of the oldest commerce routes in the American West. Along the way, it passes through Southern Colorado—Lamar, LaJunta, and Trinidad—and then into Raton in Northern New Mexico. But the rails are aging, and the Southwest Chief could be diverted, bypassing Colorado and Northern New Mexico entirely.
Colorado is embarking into uncharted territory as the Department of Transportation creates its first public private partnership along U.S. Highway 36. CDOT officials say they don’t have the money to repair and maintain all the state’s roads and bridges and this agreement is necessary. But as Bente Birkeland reports, several lawmakers have serious concerns and want to slow down the project.
Amtrak’s Southwest Chief Rail Service runs through southern Colorado and into New Mexico on its way from Chicago to Los Angeles. The route faces repair costs, and Colorado’s portion of that could be about 40 million dollars over the course of 10 years. As KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin reports, a new economic impact study breaks down what those repairs mean to Southern Colorado, and what it would take to add a train station in Pueblo.
CDOT’s I-25 expansion project is working to add a 3rd lane in each direction between Colorado Springs and Monument by the end of the year. As KRCC’s Maggie Spencer reports, the recent winter weather is slowing progress.
The department planned to complete construction on the section between Woodmen Road and Interquest Parkway by Thanksgiving. CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson says much of the necessary work to do so is not possible during wet and cold conditions.
Residents of Pueblo and Colorado Springs get to weigh in on a high speed rail study that looks at transportation from Pueblo to Fort Collins via the Denver International Airport. KRCC’s Martha Perez-Sanz has more.
The study looked at existing high speed rail technologies and various impacts and feasibility issues. It comes from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Transit and Rail.
Traffic stops along Highway 24 continue today as the Colorado Department of Transportation works to stabilize slope lines. KRCC’s Maggie Spencer has more on the rock slide mitigation efforts.
Traffic will be stopped both eastbound and as crews conduct a rock-scaling project near Cave of the Winds. CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford says crews are removing loose rock from the slope of the canyon on the north side of the highway.
A new study details the economic impact of regional airports on the state. KRCC’s Kate Dunn reports.
The study comes from the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division. It shows while payroll and economic output continue to rise, the total number of jobs has fallen below 2003 levels.
A seven-mile section of I-25 through Pueblo is slated for improvements starting this spring. It’s the first part of a two-phase project called the New Pueblo Freeway. Some 165 people attended a recent public hearing for the project hosted by the Colorado Department of Transportation. KRCC's Shanna Lewis was there and has this report.
Pueblo residents are invited to a public hearing tonight about some upcoming planned improvements on Interstate 25. KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.
The Colorado Department of Transportation along with the Federal Highway Administration are hosting the meeting which consists of an information session and an opportunity to ask questions and weigh in on the projects.
Planned improvements include fixing deteriorating roadways, widening the highway between 29th and Indiana Avenue, and adding shoulders.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 6:16 am
As the remaining flood survivors continue to be airlifted out of towns cut off by flooding, the focus is beginning to shift to recovery. Specifically on the very reason they have to be airlifted: roads.
Update, 7:00 PM Monday: CDOT has reopenedManitou Avenue to traffic at the U.S. 24 interchange. In addition, the ramps from U.S. 24 to Manitou Avenue are open. The culvert has been cleared of debris, and CDOT will continue to monitor it.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has instituted new policies for Highway 24 as related to Flash Flood Warnings. When the National Weather Service issues a warning, or rain gages indicate more than a quarter inch of rain in the Waldo Canyon burn zone, CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol plan to close the route. The highway will then remain closed until the warning is lifted, any debris is removed, and the road is deemed safe for travel. In addition, CDOT will actively patrol the highway between Manitou Springs and Cascade at all times through October 1.
Recent flooding has prompted the Colorado Department of Transportation to close Manitou Avenue (Highway 24 - Business) at the west end of town between Serpentine Drive and Highway 24. Friday’s flood washed out two road segments, both about 30-40 feet long, and around 200-300 feet apart, making it unsafe for travel. Engineers estimate repairs could take 2-3 months and cost around $1.5 million. CDOT is seeking emergency funds from the Federal Highway Administration and is working on getting contracting in place so repairs can begin as soon as possible. The total closed distance is about a