CDOT shortlists four for $1.8bn project

The selected teams will have the chance to submit proposals for I-70 East, a high-profile toll road expansion scheme in Colorado.

Five months since Colorado determined that a design, build, finance, operate and maintain (DBFOM) model would work best in delivering the Interstate 70 (I-70) East project, four teams have been selected to proceed in the procurement process for the $1.8 billion toll road project.

The shortlisted contenders are: 5280 Connectors, teaming Plenary Group with Skanska; Kiewit/Meridiam Partners; Front Range Mobility Group, comprising ACS Infrastructure and John Laing; and I-70 Mile High Partners, led by Cintra Infraestructuras and Bechtel.

“I-70 is a critical artery for Colorado,” project director Tony DeVito said in a statement. “We have the opportunity with this project to bring major improvements to this interstate and replace the aging I-70 East viaduct – the very last of the 30 worst bridges in the state not yet addressed.”

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) and the Colorado Bridge Enterprise are procuring the first phase of the I-70 East project, which – in addition to replacing the viaduct – includes expanding a 12-mile segment of the highway by adding two managed lanes and reconstructing a portion of the road as well as building a landscape ‘cover’ above one segment of the reconstructed highway.

A Request for Proposals (RFP) will be issued in the fall, with the goal of selecting a preferred bidder in 2016, CDOT said. The state agency, along with HPTE, will host a telephone Town Hall and two public meetings on August 18th through the 20th “to provide more information and gather input on elements of the process,” according to the statement. 

Colorado is not the only state considering procuring its section of I-70 as a public-private partnership (PPP; P3). Missouri, which is looking to upgrade the 200-mile section of the interstate that runs within its state borders, is soliciting ideas from the private sector both in terms of new technologies and innovative funding.

In a statement issued in June, Missouri’s Department of Transportation (MoDOT) said it wants “to make Interstate 70 from Kansas City to St Louis available to private industry, entrepreneurs and innovators as a laboratory for construction of the next generation of highways.”

Running east to west and spanning 2,151 miles across 10 states, the I-70 was built between 1956 and 1965.