COMPLETE STREETS: Work begins on revamping of U.S. 36 in Colorado

Improvements aim to encourage use of public transit, carpooling

June 21, 2013

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has begun work on wide-sweeping improvements of U.S. 36 between Denver and Boulder, with the intention of making it more friendly for multiple modes of transportation. CDOT plans to deliver the upgrades in phases, with no timetable set for the project as yet.

Plans for the redevelopment include high-occupancy toll lanesbus rapid transit service, an electronic toll system for single-occupant cars and a bike path.

The project is being funded through a public-private partnership (P3). The first phase, valued at $312 million, will receive financial backing from federal stimulus money, highway funds and state and private sources. Phase two will add private investors, who will receive a portion of all toll funding collected through 2063.

When it was originally built as a toll road in 1952, U.S. 36 was projected to see approximately 3,000 cars per day; to date, CDOT estimates an average daily number of 80,000 to 124,000 cars. A 2005 TRIP report identified U.S. 36 as the No.1 most troublesome highway in the state, based on maintenance, traffic and accident rates.