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Local Communities Celebrate Substantial Completion of the US 36 Express Lanes Project

CDOT’s first public-private partnership project delivers mobility options from Denver to Boulder.

BOULDER—The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) celebrated the substantial completion of the US 36 Express Lanes Project into Boulder at Davidson Mesa Overlook this morning.

Representatives from HPTE, Plenary Roads Denver, the Regional Transportation District, Boulder County, the City of Boulder, the City of Louisville, the Town of Superior and State Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp (HD 29) gathered to celebrate the official opening. The event commemorated the local, state and federal collaboration that went into the construction and delivery of the US 36 Express Lanes Project, and the substantial completion of CDOT's first public-private partnership (P3).

The project team, CDOT and HPTE leaders, and elected officials thanked the local communities for enduring four years of construction. The first phase of the project opened on July 22, 2015, and the  second and final phase started tolling on March 30, 2016.

"HPTE is committed to finding innovative ways to finance transportation projects, like P3s, that improve the safety, capacity, and mobility of Colorado’s critical transportation corridors," said HPTE Director David Spector. "The US 36 Express Lanes Project fits that definition perfectly and benefits all users of this corridor with more consistent, faster speeds, and reduced travel times. On US 36, we have seen 20-29 percent faster travel times during peak morning and evening drive times. Getting home or to work faster, and spending less time in your car, is a benefit everyone can enjoy."

"US 36 is all about innovation," said Commissioner Kathy Gilliland, CDOT Transportation commissioner and HPTE board chair. "We have our first buffer-separated Express Lanes in Colorado, the first bus-on-shoulder program in the state, the first Diverging Diamond Interchange in the Denver-metro area, the first Active Traffic Management System and the first commuter-specific bikeway along a Colorado highway."

"After many years of planning and several years of construction, Boulder County is proud to celebrate the full opening of the US 36 multi-modal corridor," said Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones. "This completed project now provides transportation options for transit riders, motorists, and cyclists on the busiest travel corridor to Boulder County, and serves as a model of regional collaboration."

Another great celebration is coming up on Saturday, June 18, as project partners, and local and state officials gather to celebrate the official opening of the US 36 bikeway into Boulder. The first phase of the bikeway, which ended in Louisville/Superior, opened to commuters in June 2015.

The US 36 Express Lanes Project is a multi-modal project that built an Express Lane in each direction on US 36, in addition to the two free general-purpose lanes. The Express Lanes accommodate High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV), Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)—which started running in January 2016—and tolled vehicles. In addition, the project replaced several bridges, built a commuter bikeway, added BRT improvements, and installed Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for tolling, transit and traveler information, and incident management. Phase 1, from Federal Boulevard to 88th Street in Louisville/Superior, opened in July 2015. Phase 2, from 88th Street to Table Mesa Drive in Boulder, opened in March 2016.

For more information about the project, call 303-944-2008, or visit the Express Lanes website.

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