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Colorado State Highway Access Permit (3-CO-d)

Information current as of 2020
In Colorado, a developer must obtain a State Highway Access Permit to “construct, relocate, close, or modify vehicular access, within a state highway right-of-way.” 2 Colo. Code Regs. §601-1-2.3(3)(a), State Highway Access Code. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 43-2-147 authorizes the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to regulate state highway access. The CDOT has granted permitting authority to the Safety and Traffic Engineering Branch of the CDOT, which issues State Highway Access Permits in accordance with 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 601-1 . In addition, local government permitting authorities may require an additional access permit for streets and roads that are not part of the state highway system. 2 Colo. Code Regs. §601-1-1.2(4).



State Highway Access Permit Process


3-CO-d.1 — Contact Local CDOT Regional Access Unit for Application Information

The developer should contact the CDOT Regional Access Unit (office) where the project is located to determine where to submit the CDOT - State Highway Access Permit Application. Application Instructions; 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 601-1-2.3(1)(b).

3-CO-d.2 — Hold Pre-application Meeting (Optional)

Prior to submitting a formal State Highway Access Permit Application, the developer may request a pre-application meeting with the CDOT and local issuing authority. At the pre-conference meeting, parties will review “the preliminary proposal” including “maps, plans and documents illustrating to the extent possible, the site, ownership, size and type of land use, estimated traffic volumes and vehicle types generated, adjacent public roads, existing and available access points, and other adjacent accesses.” 2 Colo. Code Regs. §601-1-2.3(2)(a). Participants may also discuss “State Highway Access Code requirements, site specific conditions, and various options for access location and design.” 2 Colo. Code Regs. §601-1-2.3(2)(a).

3-CO-d.3 — State Highway Access Permit Application

After the pre-application meeting, the developer must submit two copies of a complete CDOT - State Highway Access Permit Application to the appropriate issuing authority determined by the CDOT Regional Access Unit (CDOT or local issuing authority). 2 Colo. Code. Regs. §§ 601-1-2.3(3)(a)-,(8)(a). The application must also consist of the attachments requested at the pre-application conference. Any of the following may be required:

  • Property map indicating other access, bordering roads and streets;
  • Highway and driveway plan profile;
  • Drainage plan showing impact to the highway right-of-way;
  • Map and letters detailing utility locations before and after development in and along the right-of-way;
  • Subdivision, zoning, or development plan;
  • Proposed access design;
  • Parcel and ownership maps including easements;
  • Traffic studies; and/or
  • Proof of ownership.

State Highway Access Permit Application, at p. 2; 2 CCR 601-1 §2.3(3)(b), State Highway Access Code; Access Pre-Application Checklist. The applicant (developer) should contact the appropriate issuing authority to determine if any additional documents are required. If additional information, plans and documents are required, the applicant (developer) must attach them to the application.

3-CO-d.4 to 3-CO-d.5 — Review Application Materials for Completeness

The issuing authority reviews the Application for administrative completeness within 20 days of receipt of the Application. 2 Colo. Code Regs. §§601-1-2.3(6)(c),(8)(c). If the Application is incomplete, the issuing authority will provide a written notification to the developer within 45 days of receiving the Application. 2 Colo. Code Regs. §§ 601-1-2.3(6)(b),(8)(b). The notice includes any outstanding items, issues or concerns, and outlines within the notice the access, if any, the issuing authority would consider given the available information. 2 Colo. Code Regs. §§ 601-1-2.3(6)(c),(8)(c).

The CDOT or applicable issuing authority may reject an incomplete Application, providing notice explaining the denial. 2 Colo. Code Regs. §§ 601-1-2.3(3)(a),(6)(c),(8)(c). If CDOT or applicable issuing authority fails to act on a complete Application within 45 days from the date of receipt of the Application, the Application is approved and a permit issued. 2 Colo. Code Regs. §§ 601-1-2.3(6)(d),(8)(d).


3-CO-d.6 — Obtain Signature of Permittee(s)

If the issuing authority approves the permit, the issuing authority prepares and transmits an access proposal for signature. 2 Colo. Code Regs. §§ 601-1-2.3(6)(e),(8)(e). The applicant (developer) must obtain the signatures of the permittee(s), which signifies acceptance of the terms and conditions of the permit. Additional terms and conditions of the permit may require the developer to submit subsequent information prior to issuance of the Notice to Proceed. 2 Colo. Code Regs. §§ 601-1-2.3(6)(e),(8)(e).

3-CO-d.7 — State Highway Access Permit

The terms and conditions of a completed State Highway Access Permit address, at minimum, all of the access conditions in accordance with 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 601-1-2.3(10)(a). The CDOT considers the permit expired if the access is not under construction within one (1) year of the permit issue date or before the expiration of any authorized extension. 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 601-1-2.3(11)(d).

3-CO-d.8 — Contact Regional Access Manager Prior to Construction

The developer must contact the CDOT Regional Access Manager (or issuing authority staff) prior to commencing work on any State Highway Access Permit project. The developer may not begin construction until the issuing authority approves a Notice to Proceed. Application Instructions; 2 Colo. Code Regs. §§601-1-2.3(3)(a).

3-CO-d.9 —Notice to Proceed

A Notice to Proceed is not a license. Rather a Notice to Proceed states that the developer has met the pre-construction and permit submittal requirements and may now proceed with construction. 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 601-1-2.3(3)(a). ”When ready to begin construction, the developer must submit all required construction drawings, specifications and other required items, along with a copy of the State Highway Access Permit to the local issuing authority and a copy to the CDOT.” 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 601-1-2.4(1). Refer to the Access Pre-Design Checklist and 2 Colo. Code Regs. §§601-1-2.4(2)-(9) for guidance before construction. The issuing authority has seven (7) days to determine if the submittal is complete for review or notify the applicant (developer) of deficiencies in accordance with 2 Colo. Code Regs. §§ 601-1-2.4(2)-(4). A Notice to Proceed may have a specific expiration date noted if it is necessary, however a Notice to Proceed will expire if the State Highway Access Permit has expired. 2 Colo. Code Regs. § 601-1-2.4(9).

3-CO-d.10 — Appeal Decision (If Applicable)

A developer may appeal a permit application decision from either the CDOT or the local issuing authority. A developer must appeal local issuing authority decisions to the appropriate local issuing authority in accordance with the appeal procedures of that issuing authority. The local issuing authority will notify the CDOT of appeals made of local issuing authority actions on state highway access permits and applications. Colo. Code Regs. § 601-1-2.3(9)(b).


A developer must appeal a denial of a permit application or object to any terms or conditions of a permit by the CDOT in accordance with 2 Colo. Code Regs. §§ 601-1-2.9. To appeal a decision, the developer must submit a request for an administrative hearing to the Colorado Transportation Commission within 60 days of transmittal of the notice of denial or transmittal of the permit signature. 2 Colo. Code Regs. §§601-1-2.9,.


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Contact Information









Edit Colorado Department of Transportation
Regional Contacts for State Highway Access Permits Visit Website


Edit Colorado Department of Transportation
State Highway Access Program Administrator 303-757-9841 Visit Website