Parkway proponents predict profitability

Recent report shows financial feasibility so toll road rolls forward

Posted 5/29/18

The Jefferson Parkway could break ground on 2020, after four decades of planning and ample opposition. The proposed toll road that would nearly complete the vision of the 470 beltway completely …

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Parkway proponents predict profitability

Recent report shows financial feasibility so toll road rolls forward

Posted

The Jefferson Parkway could break ground on 2020, after four decades of planning and ample opposition.

The proposed toll road that would nearly complete the vision of the 470 beltway completely encircling the Denver metro area will soon be shopped around to companies willing to form a public-private partnership to help build and operate it.

Last month the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority (JPPHA) received a favorable traffic and revenue study of the corridor from financial adviser firm CDM Smith.

The study looked at Jefferson Parkway, a proposed toll road intended to almost close the beltway gap between State Highway 128 in Broomfield and State Highway 93 near West 58th Avenue, north of Golden. It studied the corridor’s growth and population, a proposed toll rate and structure and traffic volume, looking at present conditions and what it might look like in 40 years.

The JPPHA is pleased that the study “supports that the revenue will be there for that road,” said JPPHA chairman and Arvada city councilor David Jones.

The JPPHA is made up of representatives from Jefferson County, the city and county of Broomfield and the city of Arvada. The JPPHA board also has two non-voting members — representatives from the Regional Transportation District (RTD) and the Regional Air Quality Council.

Now that the JPPHA has received the financial study, the next step will be the request for qualifications process, said Bill Ray, interim executive director of the JPPHA. This is when the JPPHA will be considering and identifying the qualified firms/proposers interested in becoming a potential private partner, Ray said.

The private partner will be responsible for financing, designing, building, operating and maintaining the parkway.

This process will take place in the near future, Ray said, and he expects it to last to last about four months. By the end, the JPPHA hopes to have up to three firms/proposers to participate in a request for proposal process. This is when a proposal is given to the most qualified and interested investors/contractors.

Ray notes that “ongoing, one-on-one conversations with potential private partners” have revealed that the project is of interest to the private sector.

Hopefully, Ray said, the private partner selection will take place by June 2019 with a commercial close by late August and a financial close by the end of 2019.

“Everything is still on track,” he said, for construction to begin sometime in 2020.

Although the proposal and agreement processes for the private partner may take time, Jones said, it’s a “critical phase” to getting the Jefferson Parkway built.

“There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done between now and next year,” Jones said, “but this is the final push to getting the first shovel in the ground.”

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