Northwest Denver area looks for P3 concessionaire for Jefferson Parkway tollroad

November 23, 2010

Jefferson County is looking for a developer/concessionaire to take on the first build of the Jefferson Parkway, another stage in the development of a belt route for the Denver metro area, and an important north south connector for the county. The Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority (JPPHA) has scheduled a "Bidders' Conference" in the county offices in Arvada CO, December 14.

An announcement says the conference is "for interested parties to obtain information about the Project, the development process to date, and the proposed procurement process expected to take place over the first half of calendar year 2011."

They add: "There will be opportunities to ask questions during the conference and during a limited number of private one on one sessions before and after the conference for potential concessionaires/private partners."

Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) and Stantec have been consulting to the Highway Authority, doing planning and feasibility work.

First stage of the 10 mile, 16km parkway is estimated at $203m. It is a modest 2+2 lane expressway but with initially only three interchanges, and those only partial, along with at-grade intersections at each end - the whole designed for staged upgrades with additional interchanges and extensions subsequently.

A PB/Stantec report dated mid-2009 says that under "the most conservative" of forecasts the Parkway in its first stage unconnected form should carry 19k to 24k trips/day by 2015, while by 2035 the trips should be within the range 23K to 39k/day.

The JPPHA portion of the project is permitted but there has been strong opposition in the city of Golden to the remaining 12 to 15 miles (20km to 25km) from the end of the Jefferson Parkway south to the I-70/C-470 interchange to complete the Beltway.

PB/Stantec say that a rerun of earlier models with updated employment forecasts shows a fully connected or continuous belt route should generate "in the 70k+ range" of daily trips in 2035.

By itself the Jefferson Parkway should attract traffic moving between the west and northeastern parts of the metro area via the adjacent Northwest Parkway and E470 tollroads. Denver's major airport is in the northeast off the E470.

Stated purposes/rationale

The Jefferson parkway tollroad's objectives are described by the PB/Stantec report for the parkway authority:

"1. Meet transportation goals and objectives for improved regional connectivity - Completion of the Ultimate Project will be a significant step toward completion of the northwest portion of the urban beltway. Completing the beltway will result in removal of through traffic from local streets onto the beltway and will provide a more efficient, less congested travel corridor for traffic traveling to and from the west and northeast portions of the state. It will attract trips from congested I-25, I-76, I-70, and more local routes such as SH 121 or SH 93.

"2. Improve transportation safety - Jefferson Parkway will provide a reliable non-congested alternative to travel in the corridor. Portions of SH 93 from 64th Avenue north have accident rates more than double the state average (CDOT Traffic Engineering Branch, 2008). Jefferson Parkway may improve traffic safety along SH 93 through a reduction in future traffic on SH 93 north of the Parkway interchange.

"3.Serve local land use, economic development, or growth objectives - Jefferson County, City and County of Broomfield and the City of Arvada have planned around and for this project for over 20 years. For example, the City of Arvada has carried this circumferential highway in their transportation plans since as early as 1965. With the most recent Metro Vision Plan update, Broomfield received an urban center recognition for the Flatiron Crossing/Interlocken area and Arvada has asked for an additional urban center recognition on the DRCOG Metro Vision 2035 Plan for a development project within this corridor.    This project will provide the capacity for these approved and proposed activity centers to serve their regional role and accommodate the compact, contiguous growth envisioned in the regional plan.

"4. Fulfill multi-modal transportation objectives - The project will provide opportunity for future transit corridor development through the preservation of right-of-way.

"5. Provide enhanced connectivity, functionality and capacity within Jefferson County, City and County of Broomfield and the City of Arvada. Completion of the project is expected to re- focus traffic onto the proposed project from the local street system.    This will also lessen the need for the future expansion of the local street systems solely because of increases in future regional traffic."

Ultimate project

The "Ultimate Project" would see two interchanges completed and two others built anew 2020, 2027, 2030 and 2033 at a cost of about $80m extra, and from 2035 to 2050 capacity expansions and another interchange upgrade costing a total of about $270m (in 2009$s).

That puts total capital cost in the region of $550m.


A "preliminary toll revenue forecast" in the PB/Stantec report has toll revenue growing from $11m in 2015 to $23.8m in 2025 and to about $30m in 2029. That is on the basis of traffic growing 42% 2015 to 2025 and 57% 2015 to 2029.

The there is a radical step up, and doubling of toll revenue 2029 to $62m in 2030, based on a high sdpeed free flow connection being opened to the Northwest Parkway and US36 through Interlocken, increasing the utility of the Jefferson Parkway.

That surge increases traffic 2.07 fold.

Over the subsequent ten years from the 2029-2030 surge, traffic grows another 34% to 2040.

(see our table at end of the major numbers cited)

The report also has a financial plan for the project.

PB/Stantec report:

Denver Regional Council of Governments, the major permitter:

Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority, the concessioner:






TOLLROADSnews 2010-11-22

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