Interstate-225 Rail Line

The 10.5 mile Interstate-225 Rail Line is a new light rail transport project being developed by Denver’s transit authority Regional Transportation District (RTA). The new line will start from the current terminus of the existing Nine Mile Station and connect to Peoria Station on the East Rail Line.

The I-225 Rail Line is estimated to witness a daily ridership of 34,400 passengers by 2035. Running through Aurora City, the new line will serve Aurora City Centre, the Anschutz/Fitzsimons Medical Centre, Denver International Airport and the new VA Hospital and Children’s Hospital.

Environmental evaluation for the project was completed in 2009 and the groundbreaking was held in May 2012. The line is expected to be open for service in 2016. Kiewit Infrastructure made an unsolicited proposal in March 2012 to construct the new rail line.

Route and development details

The I-225 line will include eight stations, including Iliff, Florida, Aurora City Centre, 2nd-Abilene, 13th Avenue, Colfax, Fitzsimons, and Peoria.



Gold Line is the new 11.2 mile electric commuter rail transit line being developed by Regional Transportation District (RTD).


The rail line is being developed under a voter-approved transit expansion programme known as FasTracks, which includes the construction of 122 miles of commuter and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, Denver Union Station redevelopment and bus services for connecting the eight-county district.

The first phase of the project will comprise a 1.5 mile line, referred to as the minimum operable segment, between Iliff and the Nine Mile light rail transit stations. The segment will extend from the existing terminus in the I-225 median and cross over the northbound lanes on a bridge structure before continuing on the east side of the line. It will also pass through the rebuilt Yale Bridge, reopened in October 2012, in order to provide room for the light rail expansion and the road extension.

Communication system on the new light rail

As the hub for the new rail line, the communication system will collect the information from elements such as the variable message signs (VMS), CCTV and public address systems. The gathered data will be sent to the operations control centre via a fibre-optic cable and used to manage train operations.

The traction electrification system will comprise of 11 traction power substations, which will act as the main power source for the trains. The substations transmit 825V of direct current to the trains through an overhead catenary system.

Rolling stock

The new I-225 rail line will run double-ended light rail transit vehicles. The first train, manufactured at the EVRAZ plant in Pueblo, arrived in February 2014 and will run in segment 1 near Harvard Avenue.

The light rail vehicles will be maintained at the Elati Light Rail Maintenance Facility located at 2701 South Elati St in Englewood.

Construction

Construction works on the segment between Nine Mile to Iliff began in 2012, in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDoT).

"The I-225 Rail Line is estimated to witness a daily ridership of 34,400 passengers by 2035."

The works included the construction of three lanes in each direction along with an additional auxiliary lane, as well as the widening of the I-225 highway between Mississippi Avenue and Parker Road, which began in May 2012. CDoT and RTD are funding the works, which are expected to be completed by the end of September 2014.

Other major works include the construction of bridges at Iliff, Mississippi, Sixth Avenue and Colfax Avenue.

Contractors involved

SEMA Construction was awarded the contract for constructing the line segment from Nine Mile to Iliff. The contractual scope includes the rail guideway design and bridgework for the widening of the I-225 from Mississippi Avenue to Parker Road.

The construction of the I-225 line from Iliff to Peoria/Smith Station will be undertaken by the team of Kiewit Infrastructure, Mass Electric Company, and RBC Capital Markets.

AECOM was engaged to provide the design for the I-225 project.