US 36 Express Lanes Project Receives National Recognition for Innovative Public-Private Partnership

CDOT’s first P3 receives award from American Road & Transportation Builders Association.

DENVER—The High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Plenary Roads Denver (PRD) today were recognized as models of excellence in innovative transportation financing by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

About Express Lanes

Express Lanes increase roadway capacity and help to manage congestion on the highways. The use of toll pricing during peak travel times reduces delays, manages congestion and maintains reliable travel times. Express Lanes currently span seven miles on I-25, between downtown Denver and US 36. Learn more.

About the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE)

The HPTE operates as a government-owned, independent business within CDOT. It seeks 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. Learn more.

About Plenary Roads Denver (PRD)

PRD is a Denver-based consortium of industry leading firms established to efficiently deliver improvements to the US 36 corridor. By creating a team of experts from each part of the infrastructure industry, PRD is able to ensure an integrated roadway, bus rapid transit system, and bikeway that serve the needs of all residents. PRD’s team consists of Ames Construction, Granite Construction, HDR and Broad Spectrum, and is led by Plenary Group, an investor, developer and operator of public infrastructure projects in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Plenary Group’s U.S. headquarters is located in Los Angeles, Calif., with additional offices in Denver.

The Project of the Year Award, which was presented to CDOT, HPTE and PRD, spotlights a project that demonstrates the high value and innovation Public-Private Partnerships (P3) bring to transportation development in the United States. It was presented during ARTBA's 28th Annual Public-Private Partnership (P3) in Transportation Conference, held in Washington, D.C.

"CDOT and HPTE are committed to finding innovative ways to finance transportation projects, like P3s, and we are proud to receive this accolade by a national organization for our partnership with Plenary Roads Denver," said HPTE Director David Spector. "The US 36 Express Lanes Project will serve as a successful model for years to come on how to deliver multi-modal P3 projects."

The US 36 Express Lanes Project is a multi-modal, public-private partnership led by CDOT, HPTE, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and PRD. The project was completed on the busy US 36 corridor between Denver and Boulder, and includes the successful build out of two free general-purpose lanes in each direction, one tolled Express Lane in each direction, and a bikeway along the US 36 corridor. The project offers users the choice to ride the bus, carpool, bike, use the two free reconstructed general-purpose lanes or pay a toll in the Express Lanes. The Express Lanes accommodate High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV), Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and tolled vehicles.

"The US 36 Express Lanes Project is all about innovation in transportation financing and serves as proof that regional collaboration can make this type of multi-modal project successful for project partners and the general public," said Dale Bonner, Plenary Group executive chairman.

The delivery of the project was split into two phases. The $318 million first phase was procured as a design-build contract, which began initial construction work. The $179 million second phase was procured as a P3, with PRD as concessionaire to finance, design, build, operate and maintain Phase 2 construction work, assume TIFIA loan obligations and operate and maintain Phase 1 work that was done.

The lanes opened to traffic in January 2016 and tolls commenced in March for the second phase. The PRD project team included Plenary Group, Ames Construction Inc., Granite Construction Company, HDR Engineering, Broadspectrum, and Goldman Sachs. For more information about the project, visit