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This website contains updated information only for those corridors actively in construction, the Southeast Rail Extension and North Metro Rail. All other content on this website is meant for historical purposes only and may not be up-to-date. Please visit RTD-Denver.com for the latest information about RTD.

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Spring 2014 Quarterly Newsletter

Eagle Commuter Rail Project Newsletter Header
Eagle P3 Project Quarterly Newsletter - Spring 2014
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Eagle P3 Project Gears Up

for Peak Construction

Photo of 41st Avenue Pedestrian Bridge Span
The first portion of the new pedestrian bridge that will allow people
to reach the 41st•Fox Station from the Sunnyside neighborhood
at 41st Avenue and Inca Street

With opening day on the horizon, the East, Gold and Northwest Rail Westminster Segment commuter rail lines are on target to open in 2016. All 36 miles of the project are under construction, making this the peak year for heavy construction activities on the three lines.

With testing and commission scheduled to begin on the East Rail Line in 2015, the following activities will need to be completed by the end of this year:
  • Installation of all of the track work along the alignment (did you know that the steel rail was made in Pueblo from recycled steel?)
  • Construction of all of the station platforms
  • Installation of the overhead electrical systems that will power the commuter rail vehicles
  • Finishing all of 19 rail bridges along the alignment, including the I-70 Flyover Bridge in Aurora, just shy of a mile long
  • Placement of railroad and pedestrian crossing gates

Construction crews also are hard at work on all segments of the Gold Line/Northwest Rail Westminster segment. Crews will be focusing on the following areas this year:
  • Completion of the 230,000-square-foot commuter rail maintenance facility in Globeville; this is where RTD will maintain and house the rail cars for all three Eagle P3 Project lines plus the RTD North Metro Rail Line, which is scheduled to open in 2018
  • Completion of all 11 commuter rail bridges on the Gold Line
  • Continued work on the Northwest Rail bridge over Clear Creek
  • Initial construction on the stations for the Gold Line and Northwest Rail
  • Rail installation and completion of rail crossing construction throughout the alignments
  • Installation of overhead power poles and the electrical systems project-wide

While our work load will be plenty, we are committed to maintaining safe work conditions for construction crews and the public. We ask that you make an extra effort to stay aware of your surroundings as you travel through or near our construction zones. Our workers thank you for being careful as they do their best to complete construction and reopen roads.

Please note that construction schedules are subject to change. For additional information or to receive construction updates, please visit www.RTD-FasTracks.com/ep3_2.


Photo of Gold Line track crew west of Olde Town Arvada
Crews continue construction on the freight rail detour,
located just west of Olde Town Arvada

Arvada Railroad Tracks Are on the Move

In late March, crews began the task of temporarily detouring BNSF Railway freight trains from their longtime location and over to newly installed track along Ridge Road in Arvada. This carefully sequenced detour is a critical step in the process of creating a final home for the BNSF tracks along the south side of the new Gold Line commuter rail tracks.

Shifting the BNSF track to the south will make room for the new Gold Line eastbound commuter rail track and will provide a required 25-foot buffer between the commuter tracks and the freight tracks. While the BNSF trains are detoured to the north on the new westbound Gold Line track, crews will demolish the old BNSF track and build a new one along the southern edge of the alignment.

This work will create some significant improvements as well for motorists and pedestrians along the Gold Line alignment. Currently at the railroad crossings in Arvada, the BNSF tracks are substantially higher than their surroundings. This creates some problematic roadway geometry. To resolve the issue, DTP crews will reconstruct the affected intersections at a lower elevation, creating a smoother driving surface by eliminating the humps that exist at crossings such as Garrison Street. The final elevation of the commuter rail and freight tracks will be more level with the roadways.

The current schedule projects that BNSF will occupy its new and final track alignment in the fall.

To stay informed on the progress of the intersections that are currently being reconstructed, as well as related detours, please call 303.576.3352 or go to www.rtd-fastracks.com/ep3_26.


Station Profiles

A total of 13 new stations will serve the RTD FasTracks Commuter Rail Lines-East Rail Line, Gold Line, and Northwest Rail Westminster Segment. Below are this quarter's featured stations, along with the most current renderings for each.

Rendering of Olde Town Arvada Station Platform and Plaza
Rendering of the Olde Town Arvada Station located on the Gold Line in Arvada

Olde Town Arvada Station

The Olde Town Arvada Station is located on the Gold Line, at Vance Street and Grandview Avenue in Arvada. From Denver Union Station, the Olde Town Arvada Station will be the fifth stop along the Gold Line.
  • Travel time to Union Station: 20 minutes
  • Travel time to/from end of line Wheat Ridge•Ward Road Station: 5 minutes
  • 400 parking spaces on opening day

Rendering of Westminster Station
Rendering of the Westminster Station located on the
Northwest Rail Line, in Westminster

Westminster Station

The Westminster Station is located on the Northwest Rail Line, at 71st Avenue and Irving Street, in Westminster. From Denver Union Station, the Westminster station will be the first stop along the Northwest Rail Line and is being constructed as part of the Eagle P3 Project.
  • Travel time to/from Union Station: 11 minutes
  • 350 parking spaces on opening day

Photo of steel rail storage at Sheridan Station site
The 60th & Sheridan•Arvada Gold Strike Station are completed
construction includes grading and utility relocations

60th & Sheridan•Arvada Gold Strike Station

The 60th & Sheridan•Arvada Gold Strike Station is located on the Gold Line, at 60th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard. From Denver Union Station, the 60th & Sheridan•Arvada Gold Strike Station will be the fourth stop along the Gold Line.
  • Travel time to Union Station: 16 minutes
  • Travel time to/from end of line Wheat Ridge•Ward Road Station: 9 minutes
  • 300 parking spaces on opening day

Photo of overhead wire installation machine on East Rail Line
The wire train strings the overhead catenary wire on the
East Rail Line, near 56th Avenue, in February 2014

All Aboard the Wire Train, Eagle's

High-Flying Stringing Machine

When is constant tension a good thing on the job? When the job calls for installing high-voltage overhead wire for our commuter rail system.

Denver Transit Partners (DTP), the concessionaire for the Eagle P3 Project, acquired a unique rail-mounted machine that allows crews to install overhead wires while under tension. Normally, crews drape wiring over the mountings and pull it taut afterward.

But the wire train, made by Tesmec S.p.A. of Grassobbio, Italy, installs the wires under tension and makes the work go four times as quickly.

The official name of the machine is constant tension stringing unit (CTSU). The brightly-colored train has attracted a lot of attention from the public since it began installing power lines on the East Rail Line's Peña Boulevard segment in February. You'll be seeing it throughout the year as it installs wiring from the airport to Wheat Ridge.

Here are some fast facts about the CTSU:
  • The Eagle P3 Project is the first transit project in the United States to use the CTSU to install an overhead catenary system (OCS).
  • The $1.9 million CTSU simultaneously installs the two wires that make up the electrified OCS to full tension, greatly increasing the efficiency and safety of OCS installation.
  • The CTSU can install up to 4,600 feet of OCS wire in a single day. Using traditional methods, it would take up to four days to install the same length of wire.
  • When outfitted to string wire, the track-mounted CTSU stretches out to 140 feet in length and weighs in at 153,000 pounds.
  • A team of Italian engineers from Tesmec traveled to Denver with the vehicle to commission it and to train crews on how to operate it.
  • When it is done stringing the OCS on the Eagle P3 Project, the CTSU will assist in completing other tasks on the commuter rail system thanks to its practical, multi-functional design.

Major East Rail Line Construction

Project to Begin in May

In May, DTP crews will begin reconstruction of Moline Street from Smith Road to 33rd Avenue, and of 33rd Avenue between Moline and Peoria streets. This construction work is anticipated to last for six months.

The work is part of the building of the East Rail Line. The project's approval in 2009 included the permanent closure of Smith Road between Peoria and Moline streets, in order to make room for the future commuter rail station platform and the 550-space park-n-Ride. In addition, the RTD FasTracks I-225 Rail Line, also currently in construction, will have its end-of-line tracks here and share the Peoria Station. The work on 33rd and Moline will prepare those streets to carry traffic currently using the portion of Smith Road that will be permanently closed.

When completed, this extensive reconstruction will send eastbound Smith Road traffic south on Moline Street to 33rd Avenue, then east to Peoria Street, where it can return to Smith Road, or go north or south on Peoria. Motorist traveling west on Smith Road will go south at Peoria Street and then west on 33rd Avenue, turning north on Moline Street to return to existing Smith Road.

During the course of construction, access will be maintained to all of the area businesses. Access will be either through existing points or via new entrances created specifically for businesses during this construction activity.

Sections of Moline Street and 33rd Avenue will be closed or restricted over the course of this work.

Please drive cautiously as we manage the following related construction activities:
  • Relocation of wet and dry utilities
  • Installation of additional drainage facilities in the area Reconstruction of Moline Street from Smith Road to 33rd Avenue
  • Reconstruction of 33rd Avenue between Moline and Peoria streets Creation of two access roads to the Peoria Station Park-n-Ride, one off of Moline Street just south of Smith Road and the other from 33rd Avenue just east of Moline Street
  • Installation of sidewalks, curbs and gutters
As always, please note that construction schedules are subject to change.

For current information on this project and other road closures or detours, please call 303.297.5284 or visit rtd-fastracks.com/ep3_26.

Map of Smith Road re-routing between Peoria and Moline streets
The Peoria Station Park-n-Ride plan shows the new routing of Smith Road
near Peoria Street with construction beginning in May


Eagle P3 Project Economic Impacts

Photo of steel rail from mill in Pueblo stored near Sand Creek
Steel from Pueblo for the commuter rail tracks contributes
to the project goal of purchasing 50 percent of materials regionally

The Eagle P3 Project added $92 million to the Colorado economy in the past three months, a significant boost that brought the project's total regional impact to $802 million.

Since the Eagle P3 Project team broke ground in 2010, the project contractor, Denver Transit Partners (DTP), has employed more than 4,000 individuals, directly and indirectly through subcontractors. There are 1,300 employees currently on the project.

For many employees, DTP has provided training to increase productivity and career development. The project has contracted with a host of local businesses for professional services and equipment leases. And finally, the project has assisted small businesses with financial and mentor-protégé programs, designed to grow small businesses' capacity.

Through March 2014, the RTD Eagle P3 Project added more than $802 million to the Colorado economy:
  • Contractor Wages Paid - $117 million
  • Equipment, services and supplies - $250 million
  • Subcontractors - $435 million
  • DTP has subcontracted with more than 610 firms who employ crews and purchase supplies from local distributors
  • DTP directly contracts with local certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs)/Small Business Enterprises (SBEs) - currently on track to exceed our 20% commitment to both DBEs/SBEs

Eagle P3 Public Tours Are Back!

Join RTD and DTP on a two-hour bus tour of the East Rail Line or the Gold Line/Northwest Rail Segment from 10 a.m. until noon on the following dates:

East Rail Line
  • May 16, 2014
  • June 13, 2014

Gold Line/Northwest Rail
  • May 23, 2014
  • June 27, 2014

On the East Rail Line tour, you will see:
  • Construction status near DIA
  • Progress on the 5,000-foot I-70 Flyover Bridge
  • Installation of track
  • Station platform construction

On the Gold Line/Northwest Rail tour, you will see:
  • Progress on the 2,000-foot Utah Junction Flyover Bridge
  • Rail alignment preparation along Ridge Road
  • The commuter rail maintenance facility (CRMF) construction
  • Much more!

Space is limited to the first 35 people who sign-up.

For East Rail Line Tour information and reservations, call Joshua Solis at 303.297.5284. For Gold Line/NW Rail Tour information and reservations, call Zach Alexander at 303.837.2647. Also, for more information on the tours visit www.rtd-fastracks.com/ep3_2.

Photo of rail installation on Pena Boulevard Bridge
Peña Boulevard rail install -- East Rail Line

Photo of motor grader working on Gold Line track alignment
Alignment grading -- Gold Line

Aerial photo of commuter rail maintenance facility - Dec. 26, 2014
Commuter rail maintenance facility -- Northwest Rail Line


Save the Date:

Gold Line/Northwest Rail Open House

Join RTD and DTP for our annual community open house! Get informed on our construction progress as we build the RTD FasTracks Gold Line to Wheat Ridge and the Northwest Rail Line to Westminster.
  • See heavy construction equipment
  • View final station designs
  • Learn about the new train cars
We're serving a pancake breakfast, so bring your family, friends and neighbors!

Saturday, June 21, 2014
Olde Town Square
W. 57th Avenue & Olde Wadsworth Boulevard
Arvada, CO 80002
Time: 9 to 11 a.m.

For additional information, special needs request or to request Spanish translation, please contact Christina Zazueta at 303.576.3352 or Christina.Zazueta@dtpjv.com.


Project Progress Photos

Photo of construction of rail crossing
Monaco Street Parkway rail crossing construction -- Feb. 19, 2014

Photo of station track construction at Denver Airport
Plinth construction for track work at DIA -- March 13, 2014

Photo of retaining wall construction in Olde Town Arvada March 17, 2014
Wall construction at Vance Street -- March 11, 2014

Photo of electrical work at the Sandown Substation March 13, 2014
Electrical work at Sandown Substation -- March 13, 2014

Photo of completed track at Balsam Street in Arvada
Completed track work at Balsam Street -- March 11, 2014

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