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CDOT and HPTE Select Concessionaire to Complete the US 36 Express Lanes Project

April 5, 2013 - Denver Metro Area/CDOT Region 6 - DENVER - Today, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) announced the selection of Plenary Roads Denver as the Concessionaire for phase II of the US 36 Express Lanes/Bus Rapid Transit project between 88th Street and Table Mesa, which will complete improvements to the entire US 36 corridor between Denver and Boulder.

The project is CDOT’s first public-private partnership (P3), an innovative partnership where the public and private sectors team together to provide transportation improvements and services to the traveling public.

“We are extremely excited to have a partner on board to complete the final phase of the US 36 improvements that will address the needs of this vital corridor and support continued economic growth in the area,” said Mike Cheroutes, Director of the HPTE. “We wouldn’t be here today without the dedication and hard work by our local, state and federal stakeholders.”

CDOT and HPTE will enter into a 50-year agreement with Plenary Roads Denver who will:

Construct Phase 2 of the US 36 Corridor which includes:

  • Constructing an Express Lane in each direction of US 36 between 88th Street and Table Mesa for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) and tolled Single Occupancy Vehicles (SOV);
  • Reconstructing two general purpose lanes in each direction between 88th Street and Table Mesa
  • Widening the highway to accommodate 12-foot-wide inside and outside shoulders;
  • Replacing the Coal Creek Bridge and rehabilitating and widening the S. Boulder Creek bridge and widening the McCaslin Boulevard bridge to accommodate a diverging diamond interchange;
  • Adding Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) improvements, including new electronic display signage at stations and bus priority improvements at ramps. The improvements also will allow buses to operate on the shoulders of US 36 between interchanges to decrease bus travel time;
  • Installing Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for tolling, transit and traveler information, and incident management;
  • Installing a separate commuter bikeway along the rest of the corridor; and
  • Improving the RTD station at McCaslin Boulevard.

Operate and Maintain the following highways, which includes snow and ice removal:

  • The entire US 36 corridor between I-25 and Table Mesa
  • I-25 Express Lanes between downtown Denver and US 36

“The ability to construct large-scale roadway improvements has become more and more challenging as construction dollars are limited and we must look for ways to be more economical, efficient and effective with those limited resources,” said Trey Rogers, Chair of the HPTE Board of Directors.  “The public-private partnership allows us to do just that, and as a result, we are able to move into the final phase of construction years ahead of schedule.”

About two-thirds of the Phase 2 Project costs are funded through private sector equity and non-recourse debt. The project delivers much-needed capacity, while shifting operations and maintenance and replacement obligations to the private sector for the next 50 years. And, the P3 arrangement enables the project to be completed 20 years sooner than originally planned.

The Concession team includes the following partners:

  • The Plenary Group- team lead and managing partner
  • Ames Construction, Inc.- construction
  • Granite Construction- construction
  • HDR- engineering design
  • Transfield Services- maintenance
  • Goldman Sachs- financial advisor

The second phase of the US 36 Express Lanes project is expected to begin construction in late 2013 and will be complete by late 2015.

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About the US 36 Express Lanes/Bus Rapid Transit: The US 36 Express Lanes build upon the success of the existing I-25 Express Lanes by extending the regional Express Lanes system to form a continuous network from downtown Denver all the way to Boulder. It is a priority regional transportation project in one of the highest growth corridors in the state.

US 36 Express Lanes Project – Phase I CDOT selected the Ames Granite Joint Venture team as the design-build contractor for the $312 million project, and they began construction in July 2012. The project will open to the public in January 2015. The project is a multi-modal project led by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) to reconstruct and widen US 36 from Federal Boulevard to 88th Street in Louisville/Superior.

Phase I Project Details:

Adds an express lane in each direction of US 36 for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) and tolled Single Occupancy Vehicles (SOV);

Widens the highway to accommodate 12-foot-wide inside and outside shoulders;

Replaces the Wadsworth Parkway, Wadsworth Boulevard (at 112th Avenue), Lowell Boulevard and Sheridan Boulevard bridges, and the US 36 bridge over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

Adds Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) improvements, including new electronic display signage at stations and bus priority improvements at ramps. The improvements also will allow buses to operate on the shoulders of US 36 between interchanges to decrease bus travel time;

Installs Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for tolling, transit and traveler information, and incident management;

Installs a separate commuter bikeway along much of the corridor; and

Improves RTD stations along the corridor, including new canopies with enhanced weather protection.