News

High Performance Transportation Enterprise Accelerating Projects

January 31, 2014 - Statewide Transportation Plan - Recent Board Action Sets Toll Schedule for Upcoming Year.

DENVER – In 2009, FASTER (Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery) legislation created the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) to look for innovative ways to finance and construct major highway projects, since traditional sources of road funding, including federal and state fuel taxes, are insufficient for the task. Over the last year, the HPTE has made significant strides in moving forward several projects to address congestion and mobility issues in the metro area and in the mountains.

“The annual report released today shows the progress that we have been able to make in how we can leverage innovative partnerships with the private sector to benefit transportation and the traveling public,” said Mike Cheroutes, HPTE Executive Director.  “In particular we signed the contract with the state’s first public private partnership (P3) in June to accelerate the US 36 corridor project by 20 years with the private sector covering over 60% of the construction costs.”

The contract with Plenary Roads Denver, which becomes effective at financial closing, is designed to protect the public interest by maintaining public ownership of the roads while specifying service standards under which the concessionaire will operate and maintain the system.  Any tolling decisions are the final decision of the HPTE Board and the contract permits CDOT or any other transportation agency to make future improvements to the roads or transportation system in the area.

Progress was also made over the last year pursuing different pipeline projects including working on traffic and revenue studies and design plans for the I-70 East and Mountain corridors, C-470 and North I-25.  Construction also began on the extension of the I-25 Express Lanes to 120th Avenue which will open in fall 2015.

The HPTE also set a new policy in regards to the use of HOVs on tolled express lanes. In order to maintain the travel times and reliability of the lanes for buses and other vehicles, the HPTE Board approved a plan to shift free use of the lanes to HOV3+ (meaning driver plus two passengers) for all tolled express lanes no later than 2017. HOV 3+ on US 36 was also viewed as essential to minimizing the public subsidy needed to finance the project in the first place.

Lastly, the HPTE Board recently took action setting the tolling schedule for the upcoming year.  In order to maintain the reliability of the travel speeds, the board adjusted the tolling based on the congestion periods throughout the day.  Specifically the toll will increase by 10 to 55 cents depending on the time of day traveled with the highest increase scheduled for peak rush hours.  This dynamic pricing model supports the lanes’ continued effectiveness for transit and other users.

To view the annual report, a fact sheet summarizing the US 36 P3 and key contract elements as well as an extensive summary of the key contract elements on CDOT’s website at http://www.coloradodot.info/programs/high-performance-transportation-enterprise-hpte/reports.

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