Priority Projects

CDOT and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE)—a division of CDOT—prioritize transparency, accountability, and public participation in the development and implementation of public private partnerships.

In keeping with its transparency policy, as well as recommendations from a performance audit presented to the General Assembly in March 2015, HPTE provides the following list of priority projects that HPTE is considering for a public-private partnership procurement.

For a complete overview of other CDOT projects that HPTE has assisted with—including US 36 Express Lanes (phases 1 and 2), C-470 Express Lanes, and I-70 West Mountain Corridor Eastbound Peak Period Shoulder Lane (PPSL)—please consult the 2015 HPTE Annual Report.

According to the Colorado state demographers, the population of Larimer County and Weld County are expected to increase by 52 percent and 111 percent, respectively, by 2040. To provide a better quality of life and economic vitality for the future, CDOT has concluded that additional improvements on I-25 North are necessary to provide modern and effective multi-modal transportation solutions for residents, commerce and visitors traveling between Denver and Wyoming.

However, preliminary review by HPTE indicated that major improvements are not, at this time, a likely fit for a public private partnership approach. An updated level 2 traffic and revenue analysis (which assumes an HOV 3+ policy) has been completed and is being used to determine the financial viability of I-25 North Metro Express Lanes toll revenue to support additional capacity improvements in the corridor.

HPTE and CDOT will continue to evaluate options of financing transportation improvements in this vital corridor.

Central 70 (I-70 East)

Central 70 is Colorado's most critical east-west corridor. More than 1,200 businesses, employing approximately 22,000 people, are located along this stretch of highway. It is also one of the most congested corridors in the metro area, carrying more than 200,000 vehicles every day.

The Central 70 project will reconstruct a 10-mile stretch of I-70 east of downtown, add one new Express Lane in each direction, remove the aging 54-year-old viaduct, lower the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards, and place a four-acre cover park over a portion of the lowered interstate. Construction is scheduled to begin in summer of 2018.

At the direction of CDOT and the Transportation Commission, HPTE analyzed the benefits, risks and value of various delivery options for the project—including traditional, public-financed models, and several private investment and/or other partnering models. The considerations for private participation include the potential to reduce public-sector risk, add innovation to the design, help shorten the construction timeline, and/or add to the project scope to maximize taxpayer dollars.

A preliminary value for money (VFM) analysis, completed in December 2013, recommended a design, build, finance, operate and maintain approach, structured as a performance payment concession of no more than 35 years, with CDOT retaining the toll revenues. In August 2015, HPTE recommended using this delivery model for the Phase 1 project.

A request for qualifications (RFQ) was issued for the Central 70 project in March 2015, and four teams were shortlisted in July 2015. Five draft versions of the RFP were released over the next 18 months, with the final RFP released in March 2017. In August 2017, Kiewit Meridiam Partners (KMP) was selected as the preferred proposer to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Central 70 Project. CDOT's High Performance Transportation Enterprise and Colorado Bridge Enterprise boards approved the contract terms on Nov. 15, 2017, marking the "commercial close" of the deal. CDOT and KMP reached financial close, the final step in the contract process, on December 21, 2017.