CDOT: Colorado selected as semifinalist for super-fast hyperloop between Greeley, DIA |

CDOT: Colorado selected as semifinalist for super-fast hyperloop between Greeley, DIA

Katarina Velazquez
This image from Hyperloop One shows part of the tube that forms a hyperloop, which a new method of high-speed travel. A Colorado team has been selected as global semifinalist with its plan to build a hyperloop between Denver International Airport and Greeley.
Hyperloop One/For The Tribune |

About Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One is reinventing transportation by developing the world’s first Hyperloop, an integrated structure to move passengers and cargo between two points immediately, safely, efficiently and sustainably, according to a news release Saturday from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The Hyperloop One team has the world’s leading experts in engineering, technology and transport project delivery, working in tandem with global partners and investors to make Hyperloop a reality. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company is led by CEO Rob Lloyd and co-founded by Executive Chairman Shervin Pishevar and President of Engineering Josh Giegel.

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If a group of Colorado transportation officials get their way, the travel time between Denver International Airport and Greeley could get a whole lot smaller.

Hyperloop One, a Los Angeles-based company, selected the Rocky Mountain Hyperloop team as one of 35 worldwide semifinalists to build levitation-based technology that carries passengers and cargo at speeds of up to 700 mph, according to a news release sent Saturday from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

For comparison, passenger airliners typically fly at speeds of about 500 mph.

The Rocky Mountain team includes CDOT and Los Angeles-based global infrastructure firm AECOM as primary sponsors, in conjunction with the city of Greeley, the city and county of Denver, and the Denver International Airport. It proposed the Rocky Mountain Hyperloop — a 40-mile route from Denver International Airport to Greeley. CDOT wanted to connect the region’s hub of transportation and commerce with the fastest-growing areas of northern Colorado, according to the release.

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CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford said it’s not quite a train, but essentially a hyper speed tube that transports materials through levitation — an entirely new form of transportation.

According to Ford, Greeley was selected as the end-point location because of the economic growth, commerce and congestion in the area. The team was looking for a location from DIA to the expanding Front Range, and Greeley fit the initial length criteria for the project, she said.

“As we assessed all of the routes, we really believed an advantage for our application was that the DIA to Greeley route had the best potential because of the green space in the area,” she said. “There is some ease with which we could potentially construct (a project) like this along that route.”

The company will select several winners, and will build the chosen projects across the world, Ford said. The cost of the project and how much the state would contribute to it has not been fully detailed, but will be further discussed if Colorado is chosen as a finalist, Ford said.

If it comes to fruition, the project would be a boon to Greeley, City Manager Roy Otto said.

“This could be transformational for Greeley, and for the state as well,” he said. “The Front Range of Colorado is a great place to try (this project).”

After fielding 2,600 registrants in five months, Hyperloop One selected 35 semifinalist teams for its Hyperloop One Global Challenge. The challenge started last May and was open to individuals, universities, companies and governments. Participants had to develop comprehensive proposals for using Hyperloop One’s technology in their region.

“The proposed Rocky Mountain Hyperloop aligns with the industrial and commercial development planned on Greeley’s wide open plains at the eastern edge of our City,” Greeley Mayor Tom Norton said in the release. “Hyperloop technology provides an unbelievable opportunity for all of northern Colorado, and for Greeley in particular, to continue to be the business hub for northern Colorado, providing goods and services to people throughout the region.”

Other semifinalists come from 17 countries, representing every continent except Antarctica. The U.S. has 11 teams left, India has five and the U.K. has four. The company expects to announce finalists by May.

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