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Kiewit Meridiam Partners (KMP) has reached financial close to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Central 70 project for the Colorado Bridge Enterprise and High Performance Transportation Enterprise, collectively government-owned businesses within the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). KMP is comprised of Meridiam and Kiewit Development Co.
KMP was awarded the 30-year contract in August 2017. The consortium was chosen from four teams of finalists who submitted proposals for the project in early June. KMP was obligated to achieve financial close by January 28, 2018.
Located in the Denver metropolitan region, the project extends from the intersection of I-70 and I-25 east to Tower Road, a distance of approximately 11 miles. This portion of I-70 also intersects several railroad lines, the I-270 and I-225.
KMP will reconstruct a 10-mile 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.
The estimated total value of the project is US$1.2 billion, making it CDOT's largest project to date. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2018.
The construction of the project will be financed, in part, through a combination of milestone payments from the procuring authorities (US$319 million), equity (US$65 million - Meridiam 60%, Kiewit Development Company 40%) and a debt financing package comprised of a US$416 million TIFIA loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation, and US$116 million of private activity bonds underwritten by RBC Capital Markets, Barclays and SMBC.
This section of the I-70 carries more than of 200,000 vehicles per day. The aim of the project is to relieve congestion, improve safety and provide more predictable travel times along the I-70 East corridor. Once completed, the project will provide significant upgrades to one of Colorado's most highly congested corridors, and a critical connection between Denver International Airport and downtown Denver.
Central 70 is one of five procurement projects that CDOT is currently developing through its High-Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE). HPTE functions to pursue innovative, efficient financing for major transportation infrastructure projects in Colorado that will improve the safety, capacity, and accessibility of the surface transportation system, can feasibly be commenced in a reasonable amount of time, will allow more efficient movement of people, goods, and information throughout the state, and will accelerate the economic recovery of the state.