Federal funding secured for new interchange to serve the Anschutz Medical Campus and Fitzsimons Life Science District

A major component of Colorado’s bioscience industry received an economic boost to help it contribute to the state’s economy. A new interchange serving the Anschutz Medical Campus and Fitzsimons Life Science District located at I-225 and Colfax Avenue/17th Place in Aurora received a total of $13,825,000 in federal funding in recent weeks to begin the first few stages of construction. A new interchange has a price tag of $43 million.

The Anschutz/Fitzsimons site, which currently employees 15,900, is the home of the University of Colorado Denver health sciences operations, the University of Colorado Hospital, The Children’s Hospital, the new Veterans Administration Hospital, and several other centers for health care, biomedical research and workforce development. In addition to the employee numbers mentioned above, there are patients, students, faculty, volunteers and visitors that visit the site for a total of 22,797 people visiting Anschutz/Fitzsimons everyday. These visits account for 58,000 car trips in and out of the site on a daily basis. The current interchange that serves the majority of this traffic was built decades ago and designed to have a capacity of 4,000 vehicles per day.

“The Anschutz Medical Campus and Fitzsimons Life Science District is the perfect project for the federal government to invest the economic stimulus,” stated Wendy Mitchell, president and CEO of the Aurora Economic Development Council. “This is a project that contributed $3.5 billion dollars to our state’s economy last year with $1.4 billion generated in personal income. In just four short years, the site will employ 21,041 directly, contribute $4.5 billion annually to Colorado’s economy and generate $1.8 billion in personal income. I can’t think of a better project in Colorado for the tax payers to support.”

Mitchell credits the coordination between Colorado’s Congressional Delegation and the Anschutz/Fitzsimons Stakeholders Group (of which the Aurora Economic Development Council takes a leadership role) as making the funding a reality. Stakeholders include the University of Colorado Denver, the University of Colorado Hospital, The Children’s Hospital, Forest City Development, Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the city of Aurora.

At build-out, the Anschutz/Fitzsimons site will be a $5.2 billion investment, consist of approximately 18.5 million square feet and employ 44,569 people (direct jobs, no multiplier).

The city of Aurora has divided the construction of the interchange in four phases:

  • Phase 1: $1.1 million – construction of SB on-ramp from Colfax Avenue to I-225
  • Phase 2: $11.3 million – construction of NB on-ramp from Colfax Avenue to I-225.
  • Phase 3: $16.2 million – construction of SB off-ramp from I-225 to Colfax Avenue/17th Place, NB off-ramp I-225 to 17th Place, and 17th Place overpass.
  • Phase 4: $13.8 million – construction of 17th Place to overpass at I-225.

The secured federal funding for the interchange can be broken down by the following:

  • $1,425,000 from the FY09 federal budget (Omnibus bill).
  • $1.1 million from CDOT for phase 1 construction (federal economic stimulus).
  • $11.3 million from DRCOG for phase 2 construction (federal economic stimulus).

About the Aurora Economic Development Council

A partnership between business and government for more than three decades, the Aurora Economic Development Council is a leader for Colorado’s most promising growth industries – including aerospace, defense and bioscience – positioning Aurora and Colorado to win new jobs in these sectors in an intensely competitive market. We create new primary jobs through innovative deal creation, strategic partnerships, and by advocating for economically sustainable public policy. The Aurora Economic Development Council is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(6) comprised of the leading 100 companies in the Aurora/Denver metro area, the city of Aurora, Adams and Arapahoe Counties. For more information on the Aurora Economic Development Council, visit www.auroraedc.com.

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