C-470 expansion ready to ‘RAMP’ up
CDOT funds to cover half the cost of construction
The first phase of the C-470 expansion project shifted into high gear this past week following the awarding of $100 million in RAMP funding on behalf of the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The expansion project, which will add a managed toll express lane in each direction between Interstate 25 and Kipling Parkway, is the recipient of the largest amount of money among 44 statewide projects to receive Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships funds from CDOT this year.
The funds, which were requested by Douglas County, will account for half the cost of the now-scaled-back project that is currently in the design phase. According to the county’s capital improvements projects manager, Art Griffith, the rest of the money will be funded by a combination of local, state and federal loans that will be paid back with toll revenue over the next 30 years.
“They (CDOT) have a fairly aggressive schedule and would like to see all these projects completed and open to traffic by January 2018,” Griffith said.
For the C-470 expansion project, he said, it is likely to be in the design phase for much of 2014 and construction will start in 2015. The project, in addition to new lanes, will include the addition of a continuous auxiliary lane from Santa Fe Drive to University Boulevard and also involve the replacement of some existing infrastructure.
“The ultimate plan was to add two managed lanes in each direction from Wadsworth to I-25, and one managed lane in each direction from Wadsworth to Kipling, but this RAMP project will require us to scale back and do an interim solution,” Griffith said.
“The interim solution is adding one lane in each direction from I-25 to the Platte Canyon exit. There’s just not enough money to do the whole kit and caboodle right now. The ultimate plan is still to get managed lanes all the way to Kipling.”
The C-470 Corridor coalition — made up of representatives from a variety of adjacent municipalities — spent two years studying how to finance the new lanes, finally reaching a decision in February that managed toll express lanes would be the way to go.
Other options discussed included the implementation of sales or property tax increases within a to-be-determined taxing district as well as tolling all the lanes.