We recently learned that the U.S. House of Representatives authorized new transportation spending of $284 billion.
Colorado Springs, El Paso County and the 5th Congressional District of Colorado were for the most part left out. Of 3,100 “high priority” projects nationwide and 18 for Colorado that were listed in H.R. 3 (Report No. 109-12), there was only one for Colorado Springs.
As one of 435 congressional districts we should have expected a fair share of $650 million and seven high priority projects. We were told Colorado was allocated $2.8 billion of spending, and as one of seven congressional districts we should have expected at least $400 million.
It appears we got only $8 million for the Woodmen and Powers interchange.
What are the implications and effects of this wide disparity in funding for transportation for Colorado’s 5th Congressional District versus the rest of Colorado and the nation?
Congress itself describes the importance of road money to a congressional district: “Investment in transportation infrastructure creates jobs and spurs economic activity to put people back to work and stimulate the economy. & Every dollar invested in the nation’s transportation infrastructure yields at least $5.70 in economic benefits because of reduced delays, improved safety and reduced vehicle operating costs.”
The bottom line is that our tax dollars are being used to create jobs elsewhere and solve other people’s transportation problems. Next time you are stuck in traffic on I-25, Academy, Powers or Woodmen please think about how the Congress directly affects your lives and the future of our area.
David K. Neumann