CDOT Selects Ames/Granite as Design-Build Contractor for US 36 Express Lanes Project

February 29, 2012 - Denver Metro Colorado/CDOT Region 6 and Northeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 4 - Design-Build Team Commits to Completing Project Six Month Early and Will Construct Additional Elements.

DENVER– The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) today announced its selection of the Ames/Granite Joint Venture team as the design-build contractor for the US 36 Express Lanes project. The $310 million project is led by CDOT, the Colorado High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), and the Regional Transportation District (RTD). It will reconstruct the existing US 36 pavement and widen the highway to add one express lane in each direction. It also includes other transportation improvements from Federal Boulevard to past the Interlocken Loop interchange along US 36.

The Ames/Granite proposal successfully addressed all five goals outlined in the Request for Proposals and provided the best value by beating the project completion schedule by six months. The proposal also committed to build many Additional Requested Elements (improvements that were desired but not included in the base project), including extending the terminus of the project ¾ miles to the west to 88th Street and reconstructing two additional bridges on the corridor.

“We had some of the best teams in the country competing for this project,” said John Schwab, CDOT Project Director. “Ames/Granite was determined as the best fit based on its ability to combine an aggressive schedule with extended length and additional elements, providing the best overall value for the project budget.”

The Ames/Granite team will begin construction in summer 2012 and open the express lanes to the public by December 31, 2014, six months ahead of the required July 1, 2015 operational date.

The portion of the US 36 Express Lanes project from Federal Boulevard to 88th Street is Phase 1 of a two-phased project. The Phase 1 base project elements include:

  • Adding an express lane, also referred to as a managed lane, in each direction of US 36 for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) to travel, free of charge. Solo drivers also will be able to use the express lane by paying a toll that varies in amount by the time of day. The existing lanes of US 36 remain free as an option so motorists will have more choices -- pay a toll, carpool or ride the bus for a more efficient trip, or travel free in the existing lanes;
  • Reconstructing existing pavement on US 36 and widening the highway to accommodate 12-foot inside and outside shoulders;
  • Replacing the Wadsworth Parkway, Wadsworth Boulevard (at 112th Avenue) and Lowell Boulevard bridges over US 36;
  • Adding Bus Rapid Transit improvements, including new electronic display signage at stations and bus priority improvements at ramps. The improvements also will allow buses to operate on the shoulders of US 36 between interchanges to decrease bus travel time;
  • Installing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for tolling, transit and traveler information and incident management; and
  • Installing a separate commuter bikeway along much of the corridor.

In addition to the base project elements, Ames/Granite also has committed to:

  • Extending the terminus of the project from Interlocken Loop west to 88th Street in Louisville/Superior;
  • Reconstructing the Sheridan Boulevard bridge over US 36, along with roadway approaches and ramp intersections;
  • Reconstructing the US 36 bridge over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway; and
  • Improving RTD stations along the corridor, including new canopies with enhanced weather protection.

“RTD is proud to be a partner with CDOT once again to provide improved transportation options and mobility to the region,” said Rick Clarke, RTD’s Assistant General Manager of Capital Programs. “This is another example of how FasTracks is putting tax dollars and people to work, including through RTD’s Workforce Initiative Now, which trains local residents to help build out our transit projects.”

The team includes Ames Construction, Inc., Granite Construction Company, HDR Engineering, Inc. and Michael Baker Jr., Inc., in addition to several Denver-based subconsultants and subcontractors.

“The Ames/Granite Joint Venture is pleased to have been selected for this important project. We are looking forward to working as partners with CDOT, RTD and the other stakeholders as we design and construct these major improvements along the US 36 corridor,” said Tony Ames, Senior Vice President, Ames Construction, Inc.

The US 36 Express Lanes project is the first of its kind, leading the way for transportation and transit innovation. It is the first project in Colorado to build the infrastructure to support four different modes of travel (Bus Rapid Transit, HOV, tolled Express Lanes and a separated commuter bikeway alongside the highway).

While construction for the first phase moves forward, CDOT and the HPTE continue to evaluate alternative means for financing the remainder of the US 36 project between 88th Street and Table Mesa/Foothills Parkway near Boulder. A Public-Private Partnership (P3) Request for Qualifications has been released for this Phase 2 project, and responses are due in April 2012. It is expected that a Request for Proposals will follow. For more information on Phase I and Phase II, please visit