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CDOT and HPTE Publicly Release the I-70 East “Request for Qualifications” on March 25

March 25, 2015 - Statewide Transportation Plan - Release to Public and Industry Continues HPTE’s Commitment to Increase Transparency and Outreach for I-70 and other projects.

DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) will release the Request for Qualifications for the I-70 East project to the public and potential partners today. This public release of the document is another step in HPTE’s commitment to increase public participation activities, as well as process improvements to be more efficient and transparent over the past year.

The Request for Qualifications, or RFQ, is a document that outlines CDOT’s priorities and goals for a reconstructed I-70 East, and invites potential private sector bidders to submit their qualifications for the project. The RFQ is the first formal step in pursuing a possible partnership with the private sector on construction, operation and maintenance responsibilities for this critical corridor in the statewide CDOT system. A funding plan is also a required element of the environmental process and final Record of Decision.

“Colorado must access all of the tools in the transportation financing toolbox to address our growing population and infrastructure needs,” said Tim Gagen, Chair of the HPTE Board of Directors. “HPTE is committed to work with communities and stakeholders on the I-70 East and other projects. Engaging Colorado residents and stakeholders to understand the options is a very important part of the process and to the success of future public-private partnerships.”

The public release of the RFQ continues the implementation of the Transparency Policy adopted by HPTE in July 2014, which incorporates an Executive Order from Gov. John Hickenlooper directing CDOT to expand the transparency and public participation in future public-private partnerships. Since the adoption of the policy, HPTE has improved its processes and implemented various public education, transparency and outreach initiatives in targeted corridors:

I-70 East Outreach:

HPTE has conducted two phases of community outreach to discuss potential financing solutions for a series of major improvements to I-70 East. Outreach activities have included a telephone town hall that reached thousands of residents in Denver, Commerce City and Aurora (June 25), and a town hall meeting in the Globeville-Elyria-Swansea neighborhood (July 8).  A follow-up telephone town hall (October 16) and town hall meeting (November 5) were held to focus on the characteristics of the RFQ in a P3 process. The Transportation Commission also held a public workshop February 5, to review the findings of the I-70 East financial analysis.

Meanwhile, HPTE has also been working with neighborhood-based community organizations, elected officials and economic development organizations to gather inputs on the RFQ document and how the RFQ should reflect certain community priorities and goals.  

C-470 Express Lanes Outreach:

During the evaluation of financing options for improvements on C-470 in south metro Denver, HPTE conducted a town hall meeting for area residents (August 19), and also participated in a series of three telephone town halls and four open house meetings in municipalities along the C-470 corridor in August and September.  Ultimately, the HPTE analysis resulted in a recommendation that the C-470 project should move forward as a publicly-funded, design-build project to provide the best value for taxpayers on this project.

US 36 Express Lanes Outreach:

HPTE will conduct a telephone town hall (April 16) and a town hall meeting (April 21) on the US 36 Express Lanes and the proposed toll rates schedule before the HPTE Board approves the rates. Phase I of the US 36 Express Lanes will open mid-summer, and will also accommodate carpoolers (who will use the Express Lanes for free with an ExpressToll pass and account) and riders on RTD’s Bus Rapid Transit service. Travelers will continue to have the option of driving for free in the existing general-purpose lanes.

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. For more information on the HPTE visit: www.coloradohpte.com and for the I-70 East RFQ, click here.  

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