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Project Profiles

U.S. 36 Managed Lane/Bus Rapid Transit Project: Phase 1


Denver Metro Area, Colorado

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Colorado High Performance Transportation Enterprise  (HPTE)

Program Areas

Project FinanceP3TIFIARevenue - Road Pricing Revenue

Fiscal Year Approved

Fiscal Year 2011


Highway / Managed Lanes; Bus Rapid Transit


U.S. 36 is a four-lane divided highway that connects the City of Boulder to Denver at its intersection with I-25. The highway currently experiences significant congestion and has been targeted for improvements by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) since the late 1990s. The U.S. 36 Managed Lane Project Phase I is an initial 10-mile phase of improvements along 16 miles of roadway between the two cities. This $306 million first phase is being delivered under a design-build contract and will include the following components:

  • One express, high occupancy toll (HOT) lane in each direction from Federal Boulevard to 88th Street in Louisville/Superior (approximately 10 miles) and reconstruction of the general purpose lanes
  • Replacement of the Wadsworth Parkway, Wadsworth Boulevard, Lowell Boulevard, and Sheridan Boulevard bridges and replacement of the U.S. 36 bridge over the BNSF Railway
  • Bus rapid transit (BRT) accommodations at stations located on ramps and adjacent park-n-rides, and bus bypass ramps at several interchanges (new and more frequent bus service will be provided)
  • Bikeway along much of the corridor
  • Intelligent transportation system (ITS) equipment, including for tolling, transit information, and incident management
  • Improvement of Regional Transportation District (RTD) stations along the corridor

This phase of the project is expected to be open to traffic by January 2015.


$312.4 million ($305.9 million of Eligible Project Costs)

Funding Sources
(updated as of February 25, 2014)

TIFIA loan - $54.0 million

CDOT federal/state grant - $41.4 million

CDOT Bridge Enterprise funds - $41.5 million

Regional federal funds (Denver Region Council of Governments) - $46.6 million

RTD sales tax revenue - $112.1 million

TIGER Grant* - $4.8 million

Local Funds - $5.5 million

Other - $6.5 million

*Net of TIFIA subsidy costs

Project Delivery / Contract Method


Project Partners

Design-builder: Ames Granite Joint Venture Team (Ames Construction Inc. , Granite Construction Company, HDR Engineering Inc. , and Michael Baker Inc. )

Project Advisors / Consultants

To the Borrower:

  • Engineering Advisor - Jacobs Engineering Group
  • Financial Advisors - The PFM Group and Acacia Financial Group
  • P3 Advisor - KPMG, LLP
  • Traffic & Revenue Consultant - Wilbur Smith Associates
  • Bond Counsel - Kutak Rock, LLP
  • HPTE's Special TIFIA Counsel - Ballard Spahr, LLP
  • Financial Services - J.P. Morgan


  • TIFIA Legal Advisor - Hawkins Delafield & Wood, LLP
  • TIFIA Financial Advisor - Infrastructure Management Group, Inc.



Duration / Status

Construction began in July 2012. The project is expected to open in January 2015

TIFIA Credit Assistance

Direct Loan: $54.0 million

The security for the TIFIA Phase 1 loan currently is a gross pledge of toll revenues collected on the U.S. 36 Phase 1 managed lanes. However, upon the assumption of the Phase 1 TIFIA loan by Plenary, it will be integrated into the new Phase 2 credit structure and flow of funds and secured on parity with the Senior Lien PABs for Phase 2 (see Phase 2 Fact Sheet). The terms and conditions of the Plenary's assumption of the Phase 1 TIFIA Loan at substantial completion of Phase 1 construction are set forth in an Amended and Restated TIFIA Phase 1 Loan Agreement, which will become effective on the assumption date. The interest rate and amortization profile of the TIFIA Phase 1 loan will remain unchanged from that set forth in the existing Loan Agreement with HPTE.

TIFIA's security position for the Phase 1 TIFIA loan will be strengthened by the change in lien position from a subordinated position to a senior lien position on par with the Senior Lien Private Activity Bonds (PABs), the expanded base of revenues pledged to repayment of the Phase 1 TIFIA Loan, which will include toll revenues from the I-25 Express Lanes as well as Phase 1 and 2 revenues, and the addition of a ramp-up reserve in the amount of $6 million.

The TIFIA Phase 1 loan has been rated "BBB-" by Fitch Ratings.

Financial Status / Financial Performance

The TIFIA credit agreement was executed on September 1, 2011.


  • Addition of the HOT lanes will connect to the existing I-25 Express Lanes that extend from U.S. 36 to downtown Denver and add to a network of regional tollways
  • Project combines several multimodal and ITS-based strategies to alleviate congestion along the corridor: managed (HOT) lanes, BRT, provision for a commuter bikeway, and various ITS and TDM strategies

Related Links / Articles

Project Website

TIFIA Loan Agreement


Mark Gosselin
U.S. 36 Managed Lane, Project Director 
CDOT Region 1 
Tel: (303) 404-7020

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000
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