HPTE Recommends Traditional Public Financing and Delivery for proposed C-470 Improvements

November 19, 2014 - Metro Denver Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - Thorough analysis of options indicates a publicly-funded approach on C-470 will best meet project goals and timeline.

DENVER – Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 -- The High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) today announced its Board of Directors made a recommendation for the C-470 project to move forward as a publicly-funded, design-build project. The board’s recommendation now moves on to the state’s Transportation Commission for consideration.

“HPTE completed an analysis on how to finance and deliver the C-470 project, including both a public-private partnership (P3) and design-build public funding approach,” HPTE Board Chair Tim Gagen said. “Our analysis shows that due to the limited size and scope of the C-470 project, the state does not appear to receive any additional value in using a P3. Therefore, HPTE recommends a design-build public funding delivery model to provide the best value for taxpayers on this project.”

The C-470 tolled Express Lanes project is needed to address safety improvements, severe congestion and prepare for future growth in the corridor. The project will add tolled Express Lanes in each direction and rebuild various on-ramps along C-470 between I-25 westward to approximately Kipling Parkway. The tolled Express Lanes will be priced to provide a reliable travel time and will be in addition to the existing four general purpose lanes that will require no user fees.

The state Transportation Commission charged HPTE to explore financing and delivery options that included public-private partnership and design-build public funding for the C-470 project. HPTE’s financial analysis is applied on a case-by-case basis to key Colorado projects with a significant funding gap, and where there are opportunities to accelerate project timelines, get more value for taxpayer dollars, and possibly include long-term maintenance obligations.

The C-470 project is estimated to cost $230 million. CDOT has identified $112 million in local, state and federal funding, leaving a funding gap of $118 million to be funded by toll revenue bonds and other sources for the C-470 project. HPTE will issue the toll revenue bonds, and all future toll revenues will be allocated to maintenance and improvements to the C-470 corridor.

Centennial Mayor Cathy Noon, who chairs the C-470 Corridor Coalition’s Policy Committee, commented on the HPTE Board decision, “We appreciate the collaboration and level of engagement that CDOT and HPTE conducted with stakeholders as part of their analysis on this project, which is so important to the vitality of the local area and the metro region."

As part of the analysis, CDOT and the HPTE conducted telephone town halls and town hall meetings in various communities in the C-470 corridor in August and September. Project fact sheets, handouts and answers to frequently-asked questions from those community events can be accessed at www.coloradohpte.com.

Preliminary schedules have construction for the C-470 improvements beginning in the Summer of 2016, with construction mostly complete by December 2017.

The HPTE operates as a government-owned, independent business within CDOT. It searches out innovative ways to finance projects to help Colorado fulfill its commitment to increase travel choices through options that include Express Lanes, transit, biking, walking and carpooling.