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State Audit Reports HPTE’s US 36 Express Lanes Project “provided best value for taxpayers”

March 30, 2015 - Metro Denver Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - HPTE’s first public-private partnership project was overall best value.

DENVER -- The High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) today announced that the State Auditor’s report on HPTE’s US 36 public-private partnership (P3) has overall provided the best value for taxpayers. The US 36 Express Lanes project was the first P3 project for HPTE. The report found HPTE’s practices for developing and procuring the project were generally consistent with industry standard practices and identified areas of improvement.

“CDOT and HPTE are committed to make all P3 projects open and transparent to the public, stakeholders and our legislators,” Shailen Bhatt, CDOT Executive Director said. “We take seriously the lessons learned from US 36, HPTE’s first P3 project, and are already implementing or working on the recommendations we’ve received to improve all our processes. With these improvements, Colorado will be better poised to leverage P3s to address our critical infrastructure needs.”

The Office of the State Auditor released the audit report today on the HPTE’s US 36 P3 project, where it examined processes and the value of the project. The overall determination was that HPTE delivered the best value for taxpayer money based upon the goals set by its project partners to: improve mobility, shift financial risk from CDOT, release CDOT from the $60 million TIFIA loan, and to shift operations and maintenance responsibilities. The audit also identified areas of improvement.  

The areas of improvement for HPTE include planning, communications, monitoring efforts and to establish a project management framework for the P3 program in the future. The audit said these improvements to HPTE are:

“Typical of new P3 programs especially of a first P3 project as the learning curve for the public sector owner/agencies involved with developing procuring and implement a P3 project is substantial.”

The HPTE agrees with the audit recommendations to make its P3 processes more open, transparent and efficient. HPTE’s public participation, transparency efforts and process improvements are underway for the proposed I-70 East project and for any and all future P3 projects.

The full report can be found at the Office of the State Auditor website.  

About the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE): 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, visit www.coloradohpte.com.

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