State transportation officials have chosen a team led by Kiewit Infrastructure Group Inc. to do the estimated $1.2 billion reconstruction and expansion of I-70 across north Denver, between I-25 and Chambers Road.
Kiewit is part of the employee-owned construction company based in Omaha, Neb., and the North American arm of Paris-based Meridiam, a global investor in infrastructure.
The Kiewit-Meridiam team beat out three other competing teams for the public-private partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation. The agency’s 11 commissioners, who are appointed by the governor, must approve the contract for the Central 70 project.
The announcement ends two years of work CDOT has done with four competing teams of bidders.
“We have a team that’s outperformed in every area and that’s Kiewit-Meridiam. That’s the team that we’re recommending,” CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt told the Denver Business Journal this morning.
The deal calls for a four-year project, including design and construction, followed by 30 years of the private group operating and maintaining the highway. The private team also is expected to help finance the estimated $1.2 billion project and be repaid over the following 30 years.
The $1.2 billion project calls for ripping out I-70's 50-year-old, crumbling viaduct that stretches across the north Denver neighborhoods of Elyria, Swansea and Globeville. A 2 1/2 mile portion of the highway east of I-25 will be sunk, with a lid built over it to create a 4-acre park next to Swansea Elementary School.