Portuguese, Brazilian firms lease part of Denver beltway

| 8/31/2007

Toll road operators from Portugal and Brazil have signed a lease to operate a 9-mile portion of a tolled beltway around Denver.

The Northwest Parkway, built by a public highway authority in 2003, connects the E-470 toll road with Interstate 25 and U.S. 36 with state Highway 128.

Brisa/CCR, a consortium of Brisa Auto-Estradas de Portugal and Companhia de Consessoes Rodoviarias of Brazil, will pay $603 million to the Northwest Parkway Public Highway Authority to assume control of the road for a 99-year term.

The parkway board voted in May to authorize a lease agreement and name Brisa as the preferred bidder.

Parkway Authority Chair Karen Stuart and officials from the consortium announced Wednesday, Aug. 29, that the deal was signed and on the books.

The Parkway Authority will use the proceeds to pay off remaining construction-financing debts and provide funding for a 2.3-mile extension of the toll road connecting to state Highway 28 in Broomfield.

Officials from Broomfield, Lafayette and Weld counties make up the Northwest Parkway authority.

No federal funding was used to construct the parkway, officials said, and no federal funds will be used in connection with the lease agreement.

Tolls on the entire 9-mile length of the Northwest Parkway are $2 for the first two axles and $2 per additional axle.

The lease agreement allows for a toll increase of $1 for passenger vehicles and $1 per additional axle for trucks through the end of 2009, with future increases based on inflation.

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The tolled loop around metro Denver was built by regional tolling authorities with public and private financing.

– By David Tanner, staff writer