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Project Profile: Central 70

Central 70

photo credit: Colorado DOT


Denver, Colorado

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Colorado Department of Transportation, Kiewit Meridiam Partners LLC

Program Areas

Project FinanceTolling and PricingValue CaptureTIFIA

Value Capture Techniques Right-of-Way Use Agreement

Highway / Express Lanes


The Central 70 project will redesign 10 miles of I-70 in Denver, Colorado from I-25 on the west to Chambers Road on the east. The interstate will be fully reconstructed between Brighton Boulevard and I-270, widened from I-270 to Chambers Road, and restriped between I-25 and Brighton Boulevard. Together, these improvements will provide new capacity in the form of one new express toll lane in each direction, with the potential to add a second express toll lane between Brighton Boulevard and I-270 in the future. The project will remove the 50-plus-year-old, 2-mile-long viaduct between Brighton and Colorado Boulevards, lower this section of interstate below grade, and place a 4-acre park over the 1,000-foot portion of the lowered section between Clayton Street and Columbine Street.

The project is Colorado's largest-ever transportation project. It is designed to reduce travel time through the corridor by one-third to one-half by 2035, accommodate the needs for growing population, and improve safety by redesigning shoulders and interchanges to reduce crashes. The park above the lowered portion will also unite the Swansea and Elyria neighborhoods, which are currently split on either side of the corridor. The public space is expected to feature a small amphitheater, a splash park, a sports field, play areas, and room for farmers' markets and community events.

The project is being delivered under a design-build-finance-operate-maintain concession agreement between the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) and Colorado Bridge Enterprise (CBE) within the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Kiewit Meridiam Partners LLC, a special purpose company incorporated by Kiewit Development Company, a major infrastructure developer and investor, and Meridiam, a global equity investment firm. The state will compensate the concessionaire with availability payments made by CBE and HPTE over the life of the 30-year agreement following construction completion.

Fiscal Year Closed

Fiscal Year 2018


$1,271 million (TIFIA eligible project costs)

Funding Sources

State and federal resources - owner pre-development costs, milestone payments during construction, capital payment portion of availability payments over 30 years

  • Colorado Bridge Enterprise (primarily bridge safety surcharge on vehicle registration fees) - $850 million (net present value over 30 years)
  • General Fund transfers to CDOT (per Senate Bill 09-228) - $180 million
  • Denver Regional Council of Governments (federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds) - $50 million

State and local resources - operations, maintenance and renewal (OMR) portion of availability payments over 30 years

  • City and County of Denver - $37 million (net present value over 30 years)
  • CDOT existing I-70 corridor OMR expenditures
  • HPTE express toll lane revenue

Concessionaire's financing sources for construction - $961.2 million

  • TIFIA loan - $416.0 million
  • TIFIA capitalized interest - $39.1 million
  • Milestone payments during construction from HPTE and CBE - $319.0 million
  • Private Activity Bonds - $120.7 million
  • Equity - $65.9 million
  • Interest income - $0.4 million
Project Delivery / Contract Method

DBFOM (design, build, finance, operate and maintain)

Private Partner

Kiewit Meridiam Partners LLC

  • Kiewit Development Company (40%)
  • Meridiam (60%)

Design-builder - Kiewit Infrastructure Co.

  • WSP - Lead engineer
  • Jacobs - Design subcontractor

Routine operations and maintenance (10-year renewable contract) - Roy Jorgensen Associates, Inc.

Project Advisors / Consultants

To USDOT Build America Bureau

  • TIFIA Financial Advisor - Greengate Inc.
  • TIFIA Legal Advisor - Shearman and Sterling, LLP

USDOT TIFIA, Bondholders

Duration / Status

Commercial close reached November 21, 2017

Financial close reached December 21, 2017

Construction to start summer 2018

Substantial completion expected March 2022

Concession conclusion in 2052

TIFIA Credit Assistance

Direct Loan - Up to $416.0 million

The TIFIA loan is secured by availability payments paid by HPTE and CBE to the private partner.

Financial Status

TIFIA credit agreement was signed on December 19, 2017. The TIFIA loan will mature in December 2049.

  • A delay in project start by more than a year has allowed the concessionaire to conduct additional due diligence and the design to be more complete than typical at the financial close stage. The concessionaire and its design team have been able to incorporate a number of alternative technical concepts and optimize scheduling and risk mitigation.
  • Highway capping features a 4-acre park over the highway to connect the Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods that were divided when the viaduct was built in the 1960s
  • Create economic vitality for the local communities and surrounding businesses by reduced congestion and a safer road design to improve throughput
  • Address the deteriorating transportation infrastructure by addressing problems with structural deficiencies on the other I-70 structures by replacing them
  • Preserve right-of-way for future need especially in the lowered section of the highway
Related Links / Articles

CDOT Project Website

HPTE Project Procurement Documents


Mr. John Dionisio (Meridiam)
Official Representative
Kiewit Meridiam Partners LLC

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