Denver drivers frustrated with long commutes along the U.S. 36 corridor between Boulder and Denver could get some relief after federal transportation officials finalized a $54-million loan in early September that will add nearly 10 miles of express lanes and other improvements between Pecos Street and the Interlocken Loop.

The loan represents the final finance piece for the $306-million project scheduled to begin construction next spring.
Representatives from the Federal Highway Administration, the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise signed the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan, which carries a 3.58% interest rate and must be paid off by 2049.  

The remaining $252 million will be funded by CDOT, the HPTE, the Colorado Bridge Enterprise, the Regional Transportation District and the Denver Regional Council of Governments. In addition, the State of Colorado received $10 million through the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant program in 2010 for the project.

“This is the last piece of the financial puzzle for this critical transportation project and will now be able to move full steam ahead towards the construction and completion of the much-needed improvements,” said HPTE Director Michael Cheroutes. “Without the strong partnerships and financial support between the local jurisdictions and various transportation partners over the last 15 years, this project would not be possible today.”

The first phase of construction between Pecos Street and Interlocken Loop consists of the following improvements:

•    Reconstructs existing pavement on U.S. 36 and widens the highway to accommodate a 12-ft-wide shoulder.

•    Adds a buffer-separated, managed lane in each direction of U.S. 36 for bus rapid transit and high-occupancy