Public-private deal for US 36 finalized despite criticism


A public-private deal for the Boulder Turnpike was finalized on Feb. 26, 2014, despite intense criticism.

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DENVER — A deal for a private company to help the Colorado Department of Transportation improve and maintain the Boulder Turnpike was finalized Wednesday.

Plenary Roads Denver is the private company that CDOT contracted to complete the second phase of a $425 million plan to renovate, expand and maintain U.S. 36, according to a release issued by the department.

The company is currently in the process of building toll lanes running in both directions on the highway.

The company has already put up millions of dollars for improvements on U.S. 36. CDOT says without the public-private partnership, the improvements currently being made to the highway would not have happened for another two decades.

The toll lane on U.S. 36 in both directions will be accessible by any driver for a toll fee of $6 to $14 per use.

Under the terms of the current deal, Plenary would be responsible for maintaining U.S. 36 until 2063.

Some residents were concerned that Plenary would also receive all revenues from the toll lanes for the next 50 years under the terms of the deal.  Opponents also worried the tolls would be too high and called for more information on how the deal was struck.

SEE THE DEAL: CDOT releases 36 contract

“After years of planning and extensive input on how to accelerate improvements in this corridor, we are extremely excited to see further progress toward a more diversified, sustainable and less congested US 36 corridor”, said Don Hunt, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Plenary Roads Denver will assume operations and maintenance responsibilities for Interstate 25 toll roads in mid to late March.  The existing north/south lanes will remain free.

The I-25 toll will increase by 10 to 55 cents depending on the time of day traveled with the highest increase scheduled for peak rush hours, ranging for a total of $4 – 6 during peak travel times, CDOT said in a statement.

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