The Colorado Dept. of Transportation’s Transportation Commission decided on Feb. 19 to move forward with a design-build finance operate maintain (DBFOM) method for the finance and delivery of the I-70 East project from I-25 to Denver International Airport.
“CDOT will be able to deliver this project beyond what it could do with its limited funds by partnering with the private sector for the construction, operation and maintenance responsibilities,” said Transportation Commissioner Chairman Ed Peterson.
“The commission’s decision was based on being the best stewards of public money and trust; however it is important to note that this is just one step in a lengthy process that will include many more decision points. It is important that we have a feasible funding plan in place as the environmental study process is concluded and a final alternative is chosen."
CDOT engaged the public and stakeholders to discuss how this project should be delivered. The Transportation Commission held a public workshop on the findings of the Value for Money analysis, which compared the risks and affordability of design-build, design-build operate maintain (DBOM) and DBFOM delivery models, on Feb. 5.
The main conclusions of the I-70 East Value for Money analysis are that the I-70 East Corridor project is not affordable under a design-build model but can be afforded under both the DBOM and DBFOM models.
The commission selected the DBFOM method of delivery because of its ability to transfer more risk to the private sector in several key areas including the long-term costs of maintaining the corridor. In this model, the concessionaire is given annual performance payments and must meet strict operations and maintenance standards.
“The I-70 East project will help to replace aging infrastructure, relieve congestion, re-unite neighborhoods and meet the growing needs of one of Colorado’s most important corridors for tourism, travel, industry and commuters,” said Tony Devito, director, Region 1.
“By transferring operations and maintenance responsibilities to the private sector, we will be better able to meet the continued growing needs of Denver’s metro region. Most importantly, no CDOT jobs will be lost with this project, as our crews will be re-deployed to other areas in the region.”
CDOT will now begin engaging industry and develop a financing plan for the first phase of the project as required to complete the record of decision, which completes the environmental study process. Additionally, CDOT will continue to seek public input through the process.