The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has selected Kiewit Meridiam Partners (KMP) as the preferred proposer to design, build and finance the Central 70 Project, which will include the reconstruction of I-70 in Denver, as well as operate and maintain the route for 30 years.
KMP will undertake the largest infrastructure development project in CDOT’s history, a US$1.2bn scheme that will reconstruct a 10-mile (16-km) stretch of I-70 east of downtown; add one new express lane in each direction between I-25 and Chambers Road; remove the aging 53-year-old viaduct; lower the interstate between Brighton and Colorado Boulevards; and place a four-acre park over a portion of the lowered interstate between Clayton and Columbine streets. Central 70 is one of Colorado’s economic backbones: home to 1,200 businesses, providing the regional connection to Denver International Airport, and carrying upward of 200,000 vehicles per day. The project aims to bring the aging highway into the 21st century and reconnect communities along the way. Construction is scheduled to begin early 2018.
Under the Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM) delivery model: KMP as the private partner receives an annual payment based on progress and maintenance standards; CDOT collects any toll revenue from the express lanes; and the infrastructure is owned by the state.
The KMP consortium brings a proven track record of delivering some of Colorado’s largest and most complex transportation projects, including: the Denver Union Station transit improvements; I-225 rail line; Pecos Street over I-70 bridge replacement; the US 34 Big Thompson Canyon emergency repairs; and the Transportation Expansion (T-REX) mega-project. Kiewit’s 70-year presence in the state also includes building the second bore of the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels in 1975. In addition to lead partners constructor Kiewit and investor Meridiam the key KMP team members include design lead the WSP (formerly Parsons Brinckerhoff) consultancy, and engineering consultant Jacobs, as well as highways operations and maintenance services provider Jorgensen.
“We sought a partner that would deliver Central 70 on budget, on time, and with technical excellence and innovation. Kiewit Meridiam Partners has demonstrated that they can meet this challenge, while minimizing impacts to those who travel, work and live along I-70,” said CDOT’s executive director, Shailen Bhatt. “Our commitments to the community have been at the forefront of this project, and KMP has demonstrated they are prepared to live up to every one of them. Their construction approach shaves a full construction season off our build schedule.”