Public-private partnerships market in Colorado and Utah
The Trade Commissioner Service team at the Consulate General of Canada in Denver, Colorado covers the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. Public-private partnerships (P3s) continue to emerge, growing in interest and support, as an attractive tool to address an ageing infrastructure, rapid population growth and budgetary shortfalls in this region, where significant, ongoing population growth in expected. In 2020, Canadian exports to Utah were valued at Can$2.75 billion and exports to Colorado were valued at Can$3.6 billion.
In 2009, the State of Colorado enabled legislation to create the Colorado High Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE), an independent, government-owned enterprise managed under the direction of the Colorado Department of Transportation. HPTE aggressively pursues innovative means to more efficiently finance important surface transportation infrastructure projects. Colorado roadways are in desperate need of maintenance and repairs, as the state’s highways are more than 50 years old. HPTE has been the instrument of delivering more than 10 projects within five years valued at US$3 billion, and there are more P3 projects on the horizon.
In May 2021, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a US$5.3-billion transportation bill that will be used to improve roads and bridges, invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and expand multi-modal and transit options to reduce congestion and improve air quality in the state.
Recent P3 projects include:
- Expanding U.S. Route 36, which connects the cities of Boulder and Denver
- Eagle P3, a US$2.2-billion project to develop a 23-mile electric commuter rail corridor between Denver’s Union Station and the Denver International Airport
Upcoming P3 projects in the procurement pipeline include:
- I-25 North Express Lanes Project
- Central I-70 (removing the 55-year-old viaduct along a 10-mile stretch of highway).
- I-270 Corridor Improvement Project (modernizing the 7 miles of inner beltway around Denver, a corridor of commerce hosting key industry clusters of energy, advanced manufacturing and logistics companies).
In 2020, Utah’s legislature passed Senate Bill 133 to promote public-private partnerships. The legislation funded a facilitator to serve as the state’s single point of contact and source of information for P3, and directed the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) to select a facilitator. In November 2020, GOED selected P3+ to be the state’s facilitator.
Specific P3 projects for the state of Utah include:
- Utah Inland Port - 16,000-acre dry port, located beside the Salt Lake City International Airport and to be used as a multi-modal transportation hub for air, rail and train
- Utah Lake Restoration Project - a master plan for Utah Lake to restore and protect the Utah Lake ecosystem as a more pristine, stable and sustainable condition
- The project will include a US$6.4-billion, privately funded environmental recovery based on scientific research and proven engineering practices
The states of Utah and Colorado are committed to improving their infrastructure in various areas and open to seeing more Canadian companies developing these projects. For additional information, please contact David Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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