In the News: U.S. 36 contract to be finalized Wednesday between CDOT, HPTE & Plenary Roads

DENVER - Protesters are expected at a meeting on the U.S. 36 toll lane and maintenance project today.

The High-Performance Transportation Enterprise (HPTE) is meeting at noon to finalize the 50-year contract.

The deal calls for Plenary Roads to spend $425 million to add toll lanes to the highway. The consortium would then collect all the tolls and CDOT would pay the company to maintain and plow the highway for 50 years.

However, protesters are planning to turn in a petition with 20,000 signatures asking for a review period to allow state and federal lawmakers to perform a cost/benefit analysis of the project.

The meeting will be held at the Colorado Department of Transportation's headquarters at Colorado Boulevard and Arkansas Avenue in Denver. Public comments were planned for 30 minutes on Tuesday, but officials extended that time to one hour. However, only 75 members of the public will be allowed into the meeting, due to fire code restrictions.

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