Freight Projects

Freight Initiatives & Campaigns

For more information on current freight initiatives and campaigns and partnerships, visit our Truck Safety Planning webpage.

Freight Grant & Funding Opportunities

Several grant and funding opportunities are available to potentially fund freight projects. The major grant programs include:

  • National Highway Freight Program (NHFP)– The FAST Act established the National Highway Freight Program to improve the efficient movement of freight on the National Highway Freight Network (NHFN). This program is funded through 2020 and administered by CDOT. Learn more about this program below.
  • Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) - These transportation grants are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure projects with a significant impact on local or regional communities to support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation. Visit the BUILD website for more information and resources.
  • Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) – These grants provide dedicated, discretionary funding for projects that address critical issues on the nation’s highways and bridges. Learn more about INFRA online here.
  • Federal Railroad Administration - The Federal Railroad Administration provides a range of grant opportunities, including the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI Program.

National Highway Freight Program (NHFP)

The NHFP is a formula-based funding program that supports investments in the NHFN. Through 2020, Colorado will receive $83 million in Federal funding for freight specific investment needs. NHFP funding is expected to be $18.25 million in fiscal year 2019 and $20.28 million in fiscal year 2020. 

To be funded through the NHFP, potential projects must be incorporated within a state Freight Investment Plan (FIP) that is approved by the Federal Highway Administration and contributes to efficient goods movement on the NHFN. Funding eligibility covers all planning, feasibility, preconstruction, mitigation, and construction activities for highway, bridge, and multimodal capacity, safety, and operational projects. Investments in technology, safety, operations, parking, security, and alternative fuels to improve system performance are also eligible. Strategic planning, analysis, and data collections efforts are also eligible through this program. Each fiscal year, up to 10 percent of NHFP funds may be used for intermodal or freight rail projects, including improvements located within private facilities. 

Freight Investment Emphasis Areas

Investment emphasis areas are identified through discussion and consultation with FAC members, industry stakeholders, and planning partners. These priorities link directly to national and state goal areas and based on current performance measures and targets. For FY 2016 through FY 2020, CDOT will examine evidence, leverage ongoing studies, and develop prioritization criteria to identify potential NHFP investments that address the following emphasis areas:

Improving safety for all travelers is the number one priority for CDOT. Commercial vehicles were involved in over 2,916 crashes in 2014. Colorado’s challenging road and weather conditions, extreme geography, and increasing highway congestion create challenges for commercial truck drivers and all drivers. Safety improvements that reduce conflicts between trucks and passenger vehicles or obstacles, add shoulders or passing lanes, implement weather-related improvements, or provide safety information to travelers can help Colorado reach its safety goals.

CDOT is currently assessing statewide crash data to identify patterns and specific commercial vehicle hotspot locations. This data driven analysis results in the identification of specific project opportunities to make commercial vehicle travel safer. Potential NHFP projects are assessed based on safety-related performance measures, including overall truck volume, crash severity, crash hotspot recurrence, and other project level measures.

The adoption of new federal mandates for electronic logging devices governing hours of service for commercial truck drivers limits the amount of time drivers may be on the road. This means that more drivers will be stopping and require safe truck parking in more places in Colorado. However, due to geography and infrastructure limitations, Colorado does not currently have adequate safe and accessible truck parking facilities. Without investments in truck parking facilities and technologies, Colorado risks greater safety issues for truck drivers and the travelling public and increasing costs for carriers, businesses, and consumers in the future. Truck parking is directly linked to the truck safety emphasis area.

CDOT recently completed a truck parking needs assessment to identify specific needs and improvements. This study will identify system gaps, recommended network improvements, and identify a prioritized list of potential projects and partnership opportunities to provide or improve truck parking areas along primary commercial vehicle routes. Project recommendations will be coordinated with Colorado State Patrol, industry partners, and CDOT Engineering Regions before being considered for NHFP funding.

Two of the top 100 most heavily congested highway freight bottlenecks in the country are along I-25 and I-70 in the Denver region. The CMCA, the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance, the Colorado OEDIT as well as private businesses and public stakeholders acknowledge that increasing congestion and physical constraints on goods movement increase costs for businesses and consumers and impact Colorado’s economic competitiveness.

CDOT is currently working with newly available mobility data sources to identify congested highway bottlenecks across the state and working with partners to identify pinch points and bottlenecks in highway, intermodal, and rail systems that hinder goods movement. High frequency bottleneck locations will be considered for potential funding under the NHFP. CDOT will identify top capacity constraints and prioritize potential projects based on truck volumes, network criticality, costs and potential benefits and other performance measures. Projects will be coordinated with CDOT Engineering Regions and regional planning partners and will be presented to the FAC for funding consideration.


  • Freight Investment Plan
  • Freight Rail Improvements and Investments
  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) - Section 130 Rail –Highway Grade Crossing Program