Citizens blast CDOT again at 2nd public hearing over leasing U.S. 36 for 50 years

Plenery Roads Denver to maintainU.S. 36 until 2064

LOUISVILLE, Colo. - For the second night in a row, representatives from the Colorado Department of Transportation were given an earful from a crowd of unhappy U.S. 36 drivers.

CDOT was holding a second public meeting to answer questions about its planned 50-year agreement with Plenary Roads Denver to complete the reconstruction of U.S. 36 and control the toll lane that will be created from Boulder to Denver.

"If you want to cheer or yell or scream or hiss, the Avs need all the help they can get. That's where you do that, the hockey game, not here," said State Sen. Matt Jones, D-Louisville.

Despite that plea, the crowd of about 300 did not listen. During CDOT's presentation, many in the crowd yelled remarks and some shouted profanities.

"What we are doing is wanting to make sure that we answer any questions that people have about…," said CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford, before being interrupted.

"Well, then you're going to have to give us more than half an hour," said one woman.

The biggest concern from the crowd was the contract itself. They wanted to see CDOT's agreement with the private company, something Jones has been asking for, but so far denied.

"I don't think CDOT and I don't think the state has ever released contracts that are being negotiated," said CDOT policy director Herman Stockinger.

CDOT revealed it is working on providing the contract with proprietary information blacked out.

"We can redact that information. I believe that's in process right now. We want to get you the contract as quickly as we can," said Stockinger.

CDOT signed a contract with Plenary in June and will close with the company at the end of the month.

CDOT is leasing U.S. 36 because it can't afford to do the reconstruction itself. The toll lanes will be operated by Plenary. Once the company makes its money back from the construction, CDOT will start to collect 50 percent of the toll revenue.

As 7NEWS first reported in April, the toll lanes will be changing and no longer be free unless you have three or more occupants in the vehicle. That change will affect all state toll roads by 2017.

As part of the contract, Plenary will also provide the maintenance and snow removal on all of U.S. 36. To do the maintenance, CDOT will pay Plenary $675,000 each year. To provide snow and ice removal on the entire highway, CDOT will pay up to $458,000 each year.

CDOT can also penalize Plenary for not completing maintenance or providing proper snow and ice removal.

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