CDOT Seeking Transit Information for I-70 Mountain Corridor

August 16, 2012 - Central Eastern Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - DENVER – As part of its Interstate 70 Mountain Corridor Advanced Guideway System (AGS) Feasibility Study, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT’s) Division of Transit and Rail (DTR) is set to begin collecting information from existing and developing high-speed transit technology providers.

The Technology Request for Information (RFI) is the first key step in assembling and analyzing specific information from the technology and financial industries that will be evaluated to determine the feasibility of a high-speed transit system for the 120-mile segment of the I-70 Mountain Corridor between C-470 in Jefferson County and the Eagle County Regional Airport.

“This study is making a critical determination about the potential role a high-speed transit system will play in solving the transportation congestion and safety challenges on the I-70 Mountain Corridor,” said CDOT’s DTR Director Mark Imhoff,. “The study will collaborate with high-speed transit technology providers and the financial industry to identify feasible technologies, routes, station locations and funding approaches.”

The study will analyze detailed private-sector information on high-speed transit technologies to assess their ability to meet specific performance and operational criteria that have been determined in collaboration with corridor stakeholders. If the study finds an Advanced Guideway System in the I-70 Mountain Corridor is feasible, a more detailed environmental study would select a specific technology and alignment for the system before CDOT could begin implementation.

“A possible AGS along I-70 is bringing significant national and international attention, expertise and technology to our state. This is a unique opportunity for Colorado to become a global leader in advancing high-speed transit through sensitive environments and extreme landscapes,” added Imhoff.

Informal industry outreach began in June and more than 150 industry representatives from around the globe have expressed immediate interest in the project. CDOT expects to issue the Technology RFI in early September, with responses due in mid-October. Responses to the Technology RFI will provide CDOT with detailed performance, operational and cost specifications.

The technologies will be assessed against the pre-defined performance and operational criteria. Qualified technology providers also will be invited to a Technology Forum this fall, which will give providers the opportunity to present their technologies to the project team, transportation commissioners, corridor stakeholders and interested members of the public.

As part of the study, CDOT also is beginning meetings with local governments along the I-70 Corridor to discuss station locations, local transit connections, land use and development. Unlike local transit services that have stations spaced extremely close together, a 120-mile high-speed transit system would typically have 5-7 stations in order to maximize speed and travel time.

The AGS Feasibility Study is interfacing directly with two other active CDOT projects – the Interregional Connectivity Study (ICS) and the I-70 Mountain Corridor Co-Development project.

ICS will forecast ridership for the potential I-70 AGS and also will help define connectivity and through-travel between C-470 and Denver International Airport. Additionally, ICS will conduct statewide travel demand forecasting and analyze high-speed transit alternatives between Fort Collins and Pueblo.

The Co-Development project is seeking a private partner to help CDOT develop and implement a program of phased multi-modal infrastructure improvements, including recommendations coming out of the AGS Feasibility Study, to the I-70 Mountain Corridor.

The $1.8 million AGS Feasibility Study began in April 2012 and is expected to be completed in fall 2013. TYPSA|AZTEC and Jacobs Engineering are the study’s lead consultants. This study is a critical next step identified in the Record of Decision for the I-70 Mountain Corridor Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.