Bill Haight: For your safety

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Although much has been said about the lack of specificity with respect to where the state will spend the money it will retain if referendums C and D are approved in November, let there be no doubt that the Colorado Department of Transportation has very detailed plans. The department has developed a detailed list of important statewide projects that will be built within the next five years with the proceeds of the bonds that would be issued. Absent voter approval of these referendums, the construction schedule for these projects will be deferred until new funding becomes available, which may be a very long time.

The condition of Colorado's transportation system is vital to ensuring the safety of the traveling public and the cost-effective movement of commerce within our state. During the recent recession, the Department of Transportation's annual budget has declined about $300 million from its 2001 levels, despite a considerable increase in traffic statewide during this period. The department has done its best to simply maintain the current transportation system. New construction to add capacity to congested roadways, resurfacing of existing roadways and replacement of deficient bridges has suffered. Statewide, the condition and safety of our roadways and bridges have declined during this period. Negative comments by the opponents of C and D about the "pork" that will be funded by these referendums is either a gross misunderstanding of the true facts and the vital importance of our transportation system or a converted effort to deceive Colorado's taxpayers. Please remember that in Colorado, the process of selecting transportation projects begins at the local level with a needs assessment and after city, county and regional input goes to the state before being considered for funding.

A complete list of statewide projects that will be funded if C and D are approved is available by visiting www.voteyesonc-d.com. The department has identified five projects in Northwest Colorado that will be built. Drivers in this area will benefit from bridge repairs to Colorado Highway 131 near Oak Creek, safety improvements and widening of Colorado Highway 9 and U.S. Highway 40 near Kremmling, widening of Colorado Highway 123 south of Meeker, pavement resurfacing on U.S. 40 on Rabbit Ears Pass and in the vicinity of Maybell and widening and resurfacing of Colorado Highway 13 near the Wyoming border.

Please make an effort to learn the facts so that you can make an informed vote on referendums C and D instead of relying on the misinformation that is being spread by its opponents. This isn't "pork." It's about the safety of the traveling public and the cost of moving goods and services within our state.

Bill Haight

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