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

U.S. 36 Managed Lane / Bus Rapid Transit Project: Phase 1
Project Type: 
Public Transit
Sponsor / Borrower: 
Colorado High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE)
Credit Agreement Status: 
TIFIA Assistance: 
$54 million
Primary Revenue Pledge: 
Toll Revenues
Project Cost Details: 

$307 million

Duration / Status: 

Construction began in July 2012. The project reached substantial completion and commenced tolling operations in July 2015. This phase of the project opened to traffic in May 2015.

Fiscal Year Closed: 
Project Description: 

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.

The project will include 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.  Additionally, it includes the replacement of the Wadsworth Parkway, Wadsworth Boulevard, Lowell Boulevard, and Sheridan Boulevard bridges, and replacement of the US 36 bridge over the BNSF Railway.  Additionally, there are improvements to Regional Transportation District (RTD) stations along the corridor.

The US 36 Managed Lane and Bus Rapid Transit Project will ameliorate significant safety hazards that existed before the project’s inception, such as:  structurally deficient bridges, harsh grading, and insufficient stopping sight distances. Upon completion, these improvements are expected to significantly reduce accident rates. The project will implement an intelligent transportation system for electronic tolling and electronic display of transit information. Together, improved conditions and upgraded technology will generate significant time savings with each transit rider, carpooler, and toll-paying driver expected to save up to 25 minutes in travel time savings between Denver and Boulder. The project created approximately 4,400 jobs. TIFIA financing allowed for the realization of the stated benefits at least 20 years earlier and at a cost savings of approximately $200 million when compared to conventional financing methods.

Funding Sources: 
  • TIFIA Loan: $54M
  • CDOT Federal / State Grant: $38M
  • CDOT Bridge Enterprise Funds: $46M
  • Regional Federal Funds: $44M
  • RTD Sales Tax Revenue: $120M
  • TIGER Grant: $4.8M (net of TIFIA subsidy)
Project Delivery / Contract Method: 


Project Participants: 
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.
Project Lender(s): 
TIFIA Credit Assistance Detail: 

Direct loan: $54 million. The security for the TIFIA Phase 1 loan is a gross pledge of toll revenues collected on the U.S. 36 Phase 1 managed lanes. Upon assumption of the Phase 1 TIFIA loan by Plenary, it is integrated into the new Phase 2 credit structure and flow of funds and secured on parity with the Senior Lien Private Activity Bonds (PABs) for Phase 2 (see Phase 2 Fact Sheet). 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 PABs, the expanded base of revenues pledged to repayment of the Phase 1 TIFIA Loan, which includes toll revenues from I-25 Express Lanes and Phase 1 and 2 revenues, and the addition of a ramp-up reserve in the amount of $6 million.

Financial Status: 
The TIFIA credit agreement was executed in September 2011. Interest payments began in 2017, with principal payments to start in 2022; final loan maturity is slated to occur in 2049.
  • 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
Project Contacts: 

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

The TIFIA Project includes both Phases 1 and 2.
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