News

CDOT and HPTE Reach Commercial Close with Central 70 Project Developer

Nov. 15, 2017 - Milestone Marks Step Toward Start of Construction in 2018


DENVER—
CDOT's Bridge Enterprise (BE) Fund and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) today approved the project agreement (PA)—or contract—with Kiewit Meridiam Partners (KMP), the selected developer partner for the Central 70 project. The approval signifies the commercial close with KMP for the public-private partnership to deliver the project.

"While the public won't see construction starting quite yet, commercial close is a big milestone for us because it means we are one step closer to building this much-needed project," said HPTE Director David Spector. "We continue to be committed to transparency and want to ensure that anyone who is interested in this project is kept informed on each step in the process."

As part of HPTE's transparency commitments, all required documents related to the commercial close, including the PA and a summary, have been posted online. Prior to this, the draft contract was available to the public through the request for proposals process. Five versions of the contract (or project agreement) were posted to the website and CDOT and HPTE held public meetings throughout the two-year development of the document.

The PA is the contract that establishes KMP's scope of work in delivering the project, and sets forth each party's (KMP and CDOT/BE/HPTE's) rights and obligations over the term of the contract. Approval of the PA means that KMP is now officially on board to build Central 70, and the agreement will be in effect until 30 years after the completion of construction of the project. The next step is financial close, the stage at which financing is secured. The parties are moving toward financial close as soon as possible.

"Reaching commercial close is an important step for KMP to deliver this critical infrastructure project for Colorado," said Jane Garvey, chairwoman of Meridiam North America. "This historic project will not only improve mobility, but will increase economic opportunities, and help to bring jobs to the local communities and across the entire state."

The Central 70 project is funded by state and federal transportation dollars, including the BE, a funding source established by the 2009 FASTER legislation to address Colorado's poor bridges. Approximately 25 percent of annual BE revenues will be allocated to the project over the 30-year term.

KMP was selected on Aug. 24, 2017, to be the Central 70 project developer to undertake the largest infrastructure development project in CDOT's history. The project will: reconstruct a 10-mile stretch of I-70 east of downtown; add one new Express Lane in each direction between I-25 and Chambers Road; remove the aging 53-year-old viaduct; lower the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards; and place a four-acre park over a portion of the lowered interstate between Clayton and Columbine streets. Construction will begin in 2018 and take approximately four years to complete.

For more information on how the project is financed and how payments are made to the developer, visit www.coloradohpte.com.

About the Central 70 Project

The Central 70 Project will remove the 53-year-old I-70 viaduct in central Denver, lower a section of I-70 below grade, and construct a four-acre park over the interstate in the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods. One new Express Lane in each direction will be added between Brighton Boulevard and Chambers Road. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018. For more information on the Central 70 Project, visit central70.codot.gov.

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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