Short on funds, Colorado appears to be open to public-private partnerships to help move some large-scale transportation projects.
It’s already happening on U.S. 36 between Denver and Boulder, and more deals could be in the works.
“We have no money for capacity improvements,” Don Hunt, executive director for the Colorado DOT, said. “In 2007, we received $468 million from the state legislature, and this year we got zero.”
Hunt unveiled a list of potential P3 projects, including I-25 from Denver to Ft. Collins, I-70 between Brighton and Colorado boulevards and C-470 in southwest Denver.
CDOT is looking at a $1.2 billion budget this year, but $800 million has been tagged for road maintenance, and the agency also is looking at $2.5 million in annual debt payments.
The U.S. 36 deal involves a 50-year contract between CDOT and Plenary Roads Denver. The consortium will maintain the road between Denver and Boulder, which includes snow removal, while collecting tolls. The company has a guaranteed rate of return, and any additional funds will be kicked back to CDOT.