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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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July-October 2014 Quarterly Newsletter

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Eagle P3 Project Quarterly Newsletter - July-October 2014
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Photo of reconstructed intersection of York, Josephine and 40th avenue
RTD's East Rail Line construction greatly improved the intersection at 40th Avenue and York/Josephine streets as part of the 40th Avenue reconstruction project.

Project's Benefits Are More

Than Transit Alone

It might seem that RTD's commuter rail project is just building trains, but the new lines are also bringing community improvements to the neighborhoods they will serve.

Before work began on 40th Avenue between Blake and York streets, the half-mile stretch had a railroad freight siding track on the north side and a gravel shoulder on the south. The area was prone to flooding during heavy rains. It was an inhospitable environment for people.

Working with the City and County of Denver, RTD and the Eagle Project concessionaire, Denver Transit Partners (DTP), designed and built eight-foot-wide sidewalks along the south side and installed the East Rail Line tracks and fencing along the north side for public safety. Until now, there were no sidewalks along the street.

Elsewhere along the project, which includes the Gold Line and Northwest Rail Westminster Segment, you will find similar improvements. Smith Road between Albion and Kearney streets has been completely realigned and rebuilt in concrete, and features wide sidewalks, curbs and gutters along both sides. There never had been sidewalks there before.

On the Gold Line, a 70-year-old pedestrian bridge over the railyards at 43rd Avenue in Denver, connecting Globeville and Sunnyside, is being replaced with a brand new structure at 41st Avenue. This will serve not only the new station at 41st and Fox Street, but will be open to all. Elevators at either end will allow those who are disabled to get from one neighborhood to another, something that was not possible with the old bridge.

Pedestrian and vehicular crossings of the commuter rail tracks are being built with safety and reduced noise in mind. The crossings will have the necessary features to allow for an exemption from the rule requiring trains to blow their horns. This means not only the commuter trains, but also the freight trains that share the new crossings - reducing train noise from east Denver through Olde Town Arvada.

And the pedestrian crossings of the tracks at at-grade crossings will have gates and warning signals alerting people to approaching trains. Currently, the crossings have no such pedestrian features.


Photo of Denver Council Member Judy Montero, RTD Director Angie Rivera-Malpiede and Denver Council Member Albus Brooks at 40th Avenue reopening
Denver City Council member Judy Montero, RTD District C Director Angie
Rivera-Malpiede and Denver City Council member Albus Brooks celebrate the reopening of 40th Avenue on June 30, 2014.

RTD Reopens 40th Avenue

Between Blake and York Streets

After 19 months of construction, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) reopened a highly improved 40th Avenue between Blake and York streets on June 30, 2014. This half-mile of roadway was closed while contractor Denver Transit Partners (DTP) built a section of the tracks for the East Rail Line, which will connect Union Station in downtown Denver with Denver International Airport (DIA).

But the job was much more than tracks.

During the course of this project, the roadway was relocated to the south in order to create space for the tracks. The roadway was completely repaved in concrete.

Due to poor stormwater drainage within the adjacent Cole neighborhood, crews excavated down as much as 20 feet below the surface to install a 10-square-foot drainage box culvert. This box culvert will carry runoff from the area, which is subject to frequent flooding.

Additionally, for the first time, eight-foot-wide sidewalks were installed along the south side of 40th Avenue. This creates an additional layer of pedestrian safety and connectivity within the neighborhood, compared to the previous gravel shoulder pedestrians used.

Many utilities were relocated during the course of this project, including brand new underground gas, water, electric and communication lines. The dry utilities were housed into a centralized ductbank, which will make future maintenance on these lines easier.

In addition to the roadway and utility construction, the East Rail Line tracks - with rail from the steel mill in Pueblo - were installed and surrounded by permanent fencing. The track area includes the placement of overhead power poles that will carry the wires that will power the commuter rail line.

RTD and DTP thank nearby residents, motorists, businesses and commercial truck drivers for their patience during this construction project.

To see a slideshow of before and after pictures of 40th Avenue, go to tinyurl.com/40thAvenue.


Photo of workers at the airport train underpass
The East Rail Line will travel into DIA's Hotel and Transit Center area, which includes a new train platform, terminal and Westin hotel.

Collaboration Key to Completing Eagle P3 Project

No single group can make a multi-billion-dollar project like Eagle P3 happen. It really does take a whole region to produce good results.

Collaboration has been at the forefront throughout the design and construction of the commuter rail project. That has allowed RTD and its contractor DTP to stay on-track with schedule.

Examples of concurrent projects include the construction of the I-225 light rail line, the build-out Denver International Airport's hotel and transit center, and the successful opening of the Peoria Crossing bridge.

The Eagle P3 Project team works closely with the RTD FasTracks I-225 Light Rail Line team and contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure Co., because the two lines share the station area at Peoria and Smith Road. Riders will be able to easily transfer between the commuter rail East Line to the light rail I-225 line at the same station.

"Collaboration with the Eagle team began as soon as we started the design for the I-225 Aurora Line project," said RTD Project Manager Chuck Culig. "Since East Rail Line construction was underway, it was important to make sure that the design of the light rail line integrated with what had already been constructed on East, specifically at Peoria Station."

At DIA, the massive transformation that doesn't just include the commuter rail tracks, but also a new Westin hotel, train platform and terminal, and improved roadways in and out of the airport.

"The collaboration and 'get it done' spirit shown by RTD, DIA and our design and construction partners is a great testament to both organizations and demonstrates our collective commitment to a project that is a real benefit to the region," said DIA's Hotel and Transit Center Program Manager Stu Williams.

And finally, another major collaborative feat that opened successfully in June was the Peoria Crossing Project where RTD, the Cities of Aurora and Denver, and the Union Pacific Railway partnered to bridge Peoria Street over the freight and commuter rail lines, helping to improve the flow of traffic and make the area safer for cars, trains and pedestrians.


Commuter Rail Vehicles Nearing Completion

Photo of interior of new commuter rail car
The first commuter rail vehicles are expected to arrive in Denver
later this year. The vehicle interior is pictured above.

Final assembly of our 54 commuter rail cars is in full swing at the Hyundai Rotem plant in Philadelphia. The new vehicles will serve the East, Gold and Northwest rail lines in 2016. RTD has purchased an additional 12 cars to serve the North Metro Rail Line, which opens in 2018.

At the plant, the steel shells of the vehicles are outfitted with all of their components, including the Positive Train Control system, passenger seating, lights, overhead luggage racks and two types of securement mechanisms for bicycles.

To provide improved access for people in wheelchairs, RTD has narrowed the windscreen between the door and the ADA seating area for wider maneuvering space. In addition, the seats in that area are equipped with spring-tensioned mechanisms so that they are always in the upright position when not in use. This eliminates the need for people with disabilities to have to raise the seat up in order to access the open area. These design changes were made as a result of public input received in 2011 when an interior mock-up of the vehicle was displayed at Union Station in Denver and in Olde Town Square in Arvada.

Outfitting of the vehicles is at 44-percent completion. Eleven cars have been fully outfitted and are now ready for testing. Four pilot cars have been fully tested and await final inspection in preparation for delivery to Denver later this year and test running in 2015.

The electric commuter rail cars will be shipped via railroad freight lines from Philadelphia to Denver. After delivery, each vehicle will be ready for integration and testing on all three commuter rail lines.


Eagle P3 Project Economic Impacts

The Eagle P3 Project has added more than $954 million to the Colorado economy!

Since groundbreaking, the Eagle P3 Project team's contractor, Denver Transit Partners (DTP), has employed 4,800 employees. These individuals were hired directly and indirectly through subcontractors. There are currently more than 1,550 employees working on the project.

Through June,2014, the RTD Eagle P3 Project made the following investment into the Colorado economy:
  • Contractor Wages Paid - $133 million
  • Equipment, services and supplies - $327 million
  • Subcontractors - $494 million
  • DTP has subcontracted with more than 619 firms who employ crews and purchase supplies from local distributors
  • DTP directly contracts with local certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs)/Small Business Enterprises (SBEs) - more than 120 DBEs and over 50 SBEs
  • We currently are on track to exceed our 20% commitment to both DBEs/SBEs

Detours: They're not just for cars

Photo of cyclist turning around at closed trail barricade
When you come to a barricade or construction zone fence along a bike path or hiking trail, please turn around and follow the detour. The barricades are in place for your safety, whether you're in a car, on a bike or on foot.

Detours can be inconvenient, frustrating and even maddening when you're in a hurry. And one more thing about detours: They're not just for motorists. They are for everyone - cyclists, pedestrians, joggers, you name it.

With construction on 36 miles of RTD commuter rail lines at its peak this summer, we have detours around numerous work zones. In most places, these are roadway detours that affect drivers, truckers, even RTD bus routes.

But increasingly, our work requires closing trails, sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. Contractors set up bike and pedestrian detours to get you safely around work zone.

When you are out biking or hiking on one of the trails we've had to close, please don't go around our barriers. Not only are you putting yourself at risk. Your presence is an unexpected intrusion that can put our workers at risk of injury as well.

We frequently say construction means short-term pain for long-term gain. But let's face it, no one likes pain. So here are some positive things about detours that might help:
  • See different parts of town
  • Practice using your turn signal to see if it still works
  • Put in an extra quarter mile of walking for exercise
  • Pedal your bike a little harder and boost that heart rate!
We're doing our best to work quickly and get traffic back to normal. But your safety comes ahead of that. To see our current detours, go to TinyURL.com/FasTracksDetours.


Denver's Union Station Reopens

Photo looking upward at Union Station front facade
Union Station in Denver includes the boutique Crawford Hotel.

The historic Union Station building reopened to the public on July 26, 2014, after two years of renovations. The grand reopening comes nearly three months after RTD celebrated the May 9 debut of its underground bus concourse, train platforms and other transit elements at Union Station.

With RTD's bus and rail facilities, Union Station becomes the hub of the Denver metro region's transit system, providing a vibrant new cultural and retail anchor on the northwest side of the 16th Street Mall. Union Station Alliance (USA) oversaw the building renovation. RTD holds title to the Union Station complex, but USA will manage the historic building and its new services.

RTD and the USA team sought to preserve the station's historic character while adding modern amenities such as the Crawford Hotel, restaurants and shops.

The Union Station great hall will remain a round-the-clock public waiting area for Amtrak passengers and travelers, offering direct access from Wynkoop Street to the transit system behind the building. The transit systems includes the RTD Eagle P3 Project rail lines, North Metro Line and Amtrak service.


350 Attend Gold Line/NW Rail Open House

Photo of crowd at Gold Line Open House
The Gold Line/NW Rail Open House held in Olde Town Arvada on June 21, 2014, attracted more than 350 individuals who came out to receive information about the projects and enjoy some hotcakes with the project staff members.

Lured by interest in commuter rail construction as well as the smell of pancakes in the morning, 350 people crowded into Arvada's Olde Town Square on June 21 for the Gold Line/Northwest Rail Open House. It was the largest crowd yet to attend the annual event.

Project contractor DTP hosted the event to serve up the latest information along with hot pancakes, sausage, coffee and orange juice. Residents and merchants from local communities visited with our public information staff to ask questions and gather information on the Gold and Northwest Rail Westminster Segment commuter rail lines, scheduled to open in 2016.

Attendees were able to view specialized construction equipment up close, see station plans and inquire about construction work in their particular areas. Also on display was safety equipment used in construction and progress photos providing a glimpse of the new commuter rail vehicles that will be operating on the Gold Line and Northwest Rail, as well as on the East and North Metro rail lines.

The Eagle P3 Project hosts an open house each year for the public to find out more about RTD's FasTracks commuter rail lines. With construction in full swing, the open house allowed attendees to see firsthand how far construction has come since the Gold Line groundbreaking on Aug. 31, 2011. The groundbreaking ceremony was held nearby at the site of the future Olde Town Arvada Station, located south of Grandview Avenue between Olde Wadsworth Boulevard and Vance Street. The station platform has started construction there.


Save the Date - East Rail Line Open House

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

Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014
Swigert International School
3480 Syracuse St.
Denver, CO 80238
Time: 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.

For additional information, special needs request or to request Spanish translation, please contact Joshua Solis at 303.297.5284 or .


Eagle P3 Public Tours Continue!

Photo of workers installing rail on South Platte River bridge
South Platte River Bridge - Gold Line

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
Friday, Aug. 8, 2014
Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014

Gold Line/Northwest Rail
Saturday, Aug. 9, 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 yard track installation at maintenance facility
Commuter rail maintenance facility (CRMF) - Northwest Rail Line

Photo of Interstate 70 flyover bridge
I-70 Flyover Bridge - East Rail Line


Project Progress Photos

Photo of track installation on South Platte River Bridge
Construction on the South Platte River Bridge in Denver-June 23, 2014

Photo of Installed rail along Peña Boulevard, June 17, 2014
Installed rail along Peña Boulevard- June 17, 2014

Photo of Construction on the Third Creek Bridge in Denver, June 17, 2014
Construction on the Third Creek Bridge in Denver-June 17, 2014

Photo of Construction on the Triple Stack at Denver International Airport, June 17, 2014
Construction on the Triple Stack at Denver International Airport-June 17, 2014

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