About CDOT

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is the central state agency in Colorado responsible for building and maintaining the state's highway system. This includes over 23,000 lane miles of highways and nearly 3,500 bridges. Generally, they focus on “horizontal” versus “vertical” construction. The mission of CDOT is to “provide the best multi-modal transportation system for Colorado that most effectively moves people, goods, and information.” Click here for an organization chart.

Highway Design, Construction and Maintenance

CDOT uses a competitive bidding process to award contracts to private contractors who in turn are responsible for constructing highway projects. CDOT projects are managed by two primary divisions within CDOT under direction of the Chief Engineer. These departments identify project requirements and then hand them off to the CDOT Contracts and Market Analysis department which puts out the project for bid. Small businesses have many opportunities to work on these projects. For most firms, it is in the form of a subcontract to a larger "prime contractor." 


Each CDOT region is led by a Regional Transportation Director (RTD), who reports to the Chief Engineer and is responsible for implementing the Department’s goals and managing all activities within the geographic area. While there are some slight differences in how each of CDOT’s engineering regions are organized, they all have the same basic structure. Below is a general description of the functional areas that report directly to the RTD:

  • Project Engineering: Each region has one to three engineering units headed by a Program Engineer. These units are responsible for the design, construction, inspection and management of all construction projects completed within their region. Program Engineers rely on engineers and technicians assigned to engineering residencies to complete these activities. Program Engineers also oversee one or more specialty areas that support the administration of construction projects, such as survey, right-of-way, materials and hydraulics. The engineering program also supports federally-funded local agency transportation projects.
  • Maintenance: Each region has one to two Superintendents who direct the services provided by the maintenance patrols for the region. Maintenance Superintendents plan, budget, and execute scheduled and reactive maintenance operations. Local patrols maintain those portions of the state highways and the bridges that are within their geographical area including necessary winter maintenance.
  • Traffic: This program is responsible for the design, installation, maintenance, and as appropriate, the operation of traffic signal, traffic signs, pavement markings and other safety devices on the roadways within the region.
  • Planning & Environment: This department coordinates local planning partners in the decision-making process for allocating scarce CDOT resources and developing the statewide plan. This program oversees the environmental review performed on all projects and assists construction and maintenance personnel in meeting CDOT’s environmental stewardship commitments.
  • Business Office: The business office establishes and tracks the region’s budgets and expenditures for projects and operations. They also provide quality assurance reviews of payments and purchases done by regional staff.
  • Civil Rights/EEO: The Civil Rights/EEO Manager assists the RTD in personnel matters that are inherent to their management role. They also set Disadvantaged Business Enterprise project goals, support DBE subcontractors, and review contract compliance.
  • Safety Officer: The safety officer is the ombudsperson for safety in the region, developing region-specific action plans to improve employee safety performance. They audit work sites, provide safety training, do job hazard assessments, and seek employee input on what can be done to improve safety.

Other CDOT Departments

There are various other divisions and offices within CDOT that perform a wide array of functions and provide contracting opportunities for small businesses. 

Local Agency Partners

Other grants and funds are provided to local government agencies for various transportation projects that occur at the county and municipal level, such as the City and County of Denver as well as to other transit agencies such as RTD for projects such as the Denver Union Station redevelopment and FasTracks.