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DENVER — It is a project that is hard to believe — but you should believe it.

The long talked about Colorado Hyperloop — with the capability of transporting individuals from Denver to the mountains in a matter of minutes — is undergoing serious discussions among state and government officials.

On Tuesday, Dan Katz, the director of North American Projects for Virgin Hyperloop One, met with Colorado state and local government officials about the state of the project.

“It’s a front-runner for the first hyperloop in the United States,” Katz said.

Katz also revealed renderings for the hyperloop station near Denver International Airport.

It is widely expected if Colorado is chosen for the project, the first part of the route will be built off the A Line near the airport.

Rendering of possible Hyperloop station near Denver International Airport

One of the big questions remains is the cost.

“It’s in the billions. All big projects are in the billions,” Katz said.

Katz suggested private companies would not be able to endure the entire cost. State lawmakers would have to provide taxpayer dollars as well.

“It’s a partnership between the private sector and government,” Katz said.

Katz said Colorado is a contender to be the location for the first hyperloop because of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s willingness to embrace the project.

Katz said Colorado’s study on the feasibility of a hyperloop is nearing its halfway point. More information should be known by the end of next year.

“Our goal — if we are to move forward with Colorado — is really start construction in early 2020s and have something running by the mid-2020s,” Katz said.

As for the first part of the route, Katz said they are still determining whether to go north or south from DIA.

A northern route would go to Greeley and Fort Collins in nine minutes. A southern route would go from DIA to Colorado Springs in 12 minutes.

Katz said the rural nature of those routes is what makes them the most appealing.

“Going on the Front range where it’s flatter and where it’s rural makes the job easier to get this first leg done — and what we learn in that phase will help us with the task of getting out to the mountains,” Katz said.