The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) has selected Kiewit Meridiam Partners (KMP) as the preferred proposer to design, build and finance the reconstruction of Interstate 70 in Denver, as well as operate and maintain Central 70 for 30 years.
At $1.2 billion, this is the largest project in CDOT’s history. It includes reconstruction of a 10-mile stretch of I-70 east of downtown, adding one new Express Lane in each direction between I-25 and Chambers Road, removing the 53-year-old viaduct, lowering the interstate between Brighton and Colorado boulevards and placing a four-acre park over a portion of the lowered interstate between Clayton and Columbine streets. Construction will begin in 2018.
“CDOT sought a partner that would deliver Central 70 on budget, on time, and with technical excellence and innovation. Kiewit Meridiam Partners has demonstrated that they can meet this challenge while minimizing impacts to those who travel, work and live along I-70,” says CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt.
KMP has previously worked on the Denver Union Station transit improvements; I-225 rail line; Pecos Street over I-70 bridge replacement; the US 34 Big Thompson Canyon emergency repairs; and the Transportation Expansion (T-REX) project.
“The ability to address the needs and concerns of the communities most impacted by the upcoming construction also played a key role in the selection of KMP,” Bhatt adds. “CDOT’s commitments to the community have been at the forefront of this project, and KMP has demonstrated they are prepared to live up to every one them. Their construction approach shaves a full construction season off CDOT’s construction schedule, and their commitment to hire at least 20 percent of their workforce from the community is backed-up with a strong recruitment and training program. Also, KMP is contributing $1 million for student scholarships and other community programs.”
CDOT says the following are some of the highlights from KMP’s:
- On-budget commitment – KMP’s bid is within CDOT’s project budget.
- Early project completion – KMP’s construction schedule shaves a full construction season off the CDOT project schedule.
- Minimizes inconvenience and disruption – KMP’s construction-phasing plan in the viaduct section requires only two major traffic switches.
- Minimizes environmental impacts – KMP’s roadway design raises the roadway profile through the viaduct section 12 feet, eliminating exposure to the groundwater table and reducing the amount of soil disruption in this area by 10,000 truckloads of dirt.
- Invests in the local community – KMP has committed to to provide $1 million in community investments through its community foundation.
- Proven local entity – KMP partner Kiewit Infrastructure, has been in the Denver metro area more than 70 years and has a solid record of on-time, on-budget delivery for CDOT, including its last mega-project, the Transportation Expansion (T-REX) project.
- Consistency and stability – KMP will oversee all roles throughout the 30-year term of the project, including construction, financing and operations.
“The Kiewit Meridiam Team, including our local business and labor partners, are honored to be selected to deliver this important project. CDOT, the City and County of Denver, and all the stakeholders are to be congratulated for their unwavering commitment to addressing this aging infrastructure with a visionary solution,” says Joe Wingerter, vice president of Kiewit Infrastructure Group.
“The neighborhoods have been extremely patient throughout this process. Now the time has come for this transportation system upgrade—one that will enhance the quality of life, as well as strengthen the region in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner, kindling overdue opportunities for these neighborhoods, the region and the state of Colorado. We look forward to working in partnership to the deliver the vision.”