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The overall process for transportation improvements is summarized in the following flow diagram. The "Western Beltway" project is in the early stages of the Planning phase.
The Planning phase typically includes an assessment of existing conditions, identifying and analyzing alternatives and exploring funding options.
The Environmental Clearance phase includes a detailed examination of all social, economic and environmental resources that apply to the corridor alternatives. Preliminary engineering is usually part of this phase so the analysis can be more precise and reliable cost estimates can be developed. An integral part of both phases is an early, proactive and continuing public/agency involvement process. After Environmental Clearance, detailed design is initiated and the right-of-way acquisition process is started.
Emerging innovative methods of project delivery include public-private partnerships (P3s). Under a public-private partnership, the private sector is generally responsible for design, construction, long-term financing and operations and maintenance. Tolled facilities are starting to use this method to share risks and gains.
The first step in the planning phase is to conduct a Planning and Environmental Linkages study (PEL). Typically, PEL is a study process that identifies transportation issues and environmental concerns in a large corridor or a specific location. Generally, it is conducted before any project construction funding is identified, and before specific problems and solutions are known. Before conducting a PEL study, a scoping process needs to occur. The scoping process determines the purpose of the PEL study and whether or not it is required.
Click here for more information about PEL.
The Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority, established by Jefferson County, Broomfield and Arvada, is trying to secure a private investor to build and manage the highway as a toll road.
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