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May 4, 2016

RTD to start rail extension in Denver

The US Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) has announced construction of Southeast Rail Extension Project will start this month.

Ridge Gate Station

The US Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) has announced construction of Southeast Rail Extension Project will start this month.

The extension will add 2.3 miles to the existing 19-mile Southeast Rail Line. It will also include three new stations, 1,300 parking spaces and the purchase of eight vehicles.

Following completion in 2019, residents will have the option to travel from the RidgeGate Station on the E Line to Union Station, from the F Line to 18th California, and from the new R Line through Aurora to Peoria Station.

This will then connect to the University of Colorado A Line commuter train, Denver International Airport, and Union Station in downtown Denver.

Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has awarded $92m to RTD through its Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Programme, which will allow the agency to give Balfour Beatty Infrastructure (BBII) the notice to proceed with construction.

RTD earlier selected BBII as the construction contractor to build the extension transit project.

FTA’s acting administrator Carolyn Flowers said: "FTA is proud to partner with Denver to support the Southeast Rail Extension.

"By expanding light-rail south of the city, we are helping to create efficient access to Denver and all that the city has to offer, improving connections for residents along the I-25 corridor who are traveling to jobs, school, medical care and other opportunities in downtown Denver and throughout the metropolitan area."

"By expanding light-rail south of the city, we are helping to create efficient access to Denver and all that the city has to offer."

The total cost of the project is $233.1m, with FTA providing $92m toward construction, while the remaining amount is being covered by local funding sources.

RTD board chair Tom Tobiassen said: "The start of construction on the Southeast Rail Extension is another shining example of how important collaboration and innovation are to completing the FasTracks vision.

"This project wouldn’t be happening without the support from the local jurisdictions, as well as our federal partner. It is because of our strong partnerships that we continue to expand public transportation throughout the Denver metro area and create a city that is ready for the future."

It is reported that the Southeast Rail Extension project from Lincoln Avenue to RidgeGate Parkway is part of the 2004 voter-approved FasTracks plan.


Image: An artist’s conception of RidgeGate Parkway Station. Photo: courtesy of Regional Transportation District.

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