DENVER -- Three stops. Three years. $3 billion. That's the basic breakdown of the original proposal to bring Hyperloop to Colorado, that could give a good indication of where the Colorado Department of Transportation is leaning when it comes to the transportation of the future in our state.
Colorado was recently named one of 10 finalists for the super-fast train-in-a-tube that is under development, but a look at the October 2016 proposal highlights the possible first part of the project if the Rocky Mountain route were chosen.
"Accelerated Phase One" would include three stops: Greeley, Interstate 76, and Denver International Airport.
CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford laid out the reasons why that route was picked.
"One, it's kind of on that Front Range route. Two, there's more open space so if we think about building something efficiently and quickly there might be a better possibility there. And three, there is a confluence of cargo in that area, especially near 76 you have heavy rail and a lot of freight traffic," she said.
That first part would be a stretch of about 40 miles from Greeley to the airport.
The estimated cost is $3 billion. That's relatively cheap compared to the overall estimated cost of $24 billion, mainly because the first phase would cross flat, mostly-undeveloped land.
According to the proposal, the timeline is also tight. It would have an opening for that stretch sometime in 2020. But CDOT says this is all up for review in the study phase.
"There are a lot of pieces that have to come into play. Let's say this is a 100-step process. We're probably on step five," CDOT said.
The Hyperloop feasibility study is scheduled to start soon and take between 6 months and a year to complete. A spokesperson says that's when they will determine if they want to proceed according to the original plan, make tweaks, or change it altogether.