Washington, D.C. — The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) recognized the U.S. 36 Express Lanes project in Colorado and Purdue University President Mitch Daniels as models of excellence in innovative transportation financing. The awards were presented July 14 in two categories during ARTBA’s 28th Annual Public Private Partnerships (P3s) in Transportation Conference.
P3 Entrepreneur of the Year is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the forward progress of P3s in the U.S. transportation industry. Mitch Daniels, as the two-term former governor of Indiana, procured and reached an agreement in 2006 on a 75-year lease for the 157-mile-long Indiana Toll Road in a deal that brought nearly $4 billion to the state. He was also instrumental in negotiating an agreement on the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project — a $2.5 billion project that will see the construction of two major bridges and the highways that connect them.
At Purdue, Daniels has played a key leadership role in helping establish the city of West Lafayette and Purdue University Joint Board as the partnership body for all aspects of the procurement and financing of the State Street Redevelopment Project. It will revamp a major thoroughfare through downtown West Lafayette and Purdue University with a focus on better connecting the two communities.
The design-build-finance-maintain P3 seeks to modify traffic patterns on State Street through the university’s campus. It will promote multimodal travel features, including bike paths and pedestrian walkways, with the goal of enhancing safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers throughout the school and West Lafayette. The project is the first U.S. availability payment P3 project to be procured by a university, and the first to reach financial close where the consortium’s bid included a privately placed bond with fixed credit spreads.
Project of the Year spotlights a project that demonstrates the value P3s bring to U.S. transportation development. The U.S. 36 Express Lanes project in Colorado completed improvements to 16 congested miles of the U.S. 36 corridor between Denver and Boulder by adding a managed lane in each direction for use by Bus Rapid Transit, High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) and tolled vehicles, reconstructing all existing pavement, and widening the highway to accommodate 12-foot inside and outside shoulders, adding new stations and electronic display signage to the Bus Rapid Transit system, installing a separated commuter bike path along the entire corridor, reconstructing or widening several bridges along the highway, and adding a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) at the McCaslin bridge.
The delivery of the project was split into two phases. The $318 million first phase was procured as a design-build contract, which began initial construction work along the corridor. The $130 million second phase was procured as a P3, with Plenary Roads Denver selected as concessionaire to finance, design, build, operate and maintain Phase 2 construction work, assume TIFIA loan obligations and operate and maintain Phase 1.
The lanes opened to traffic in January 2016 and tolls commenced in March. The project team included Plenary Group, Ames Construction Inc., Granite Construction Company, HDR Engineering, Broadspectrum, and Goldman Sachs.