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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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January-April 2015 Quarterly Newsletter

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Eagle P3 Project Quarterly Newsletter - January-April 2015
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Photo of ribbon cutting to open rail car public open house, Dec. 2, 2014
In December 2014, the public was given a preview of RTD's new commuter rail cars. (Pictured L to R) Hyundai Rotem CEO and Vice Chairman Kyu-Hwan Han, DTP Executive Director Aaron Epstein, RTD General Manager Phil Washington and RTD Board Chair Chuck Sisk.

New Rail Cars a Hit with Public

The Regional Transportation District's (RTD) first commuter rail cars arrived in Denver to great fanfare, media coverage and public acclaim, as excitement begins to build toward the 2016 openings of three commuter rail lines.

More than 6,500 people toured the rail cars at Union Station's Track 1 during a four-day open house during the first week of December. It was preceded by a ribbon-cutting ceremony headed by leaders from RTD, Denver Transit Partners (DTP) and Hyundai Rotem.

"In 2016, you'll be boarding these trains to the airport on the East Rail Line, to Arvada and Wheat Ridge on the Gold Line, and to Westminster on Northwest Rail," RTD Board Chair Chuck Sisk said to a crowd of about 150 people who came to the Dec. 2 ribbon-cutting.

The ceremony was notable due to the presence of Hyundai Rotem CEO and Vice Chairman, Mr. Kyu-Hwan Han, who flew to Denver from South Korea to mark the occasion. RTD will take delivery of four cars per month from Philadelphia until the entire order of 66 vehicles is complete.

The cars arrived from Hyundai Rotem's assembly plant in Philadelphia and were brought to Track 1 for inspection before the open house. The cars' trip itself was a public event, with an interactive map tracking them across the country and rail fans vying to be the first to spot them as they came down the BNSF Railway mainline from Brush through Brighton.

Among the public visitors to the rail cars was John Barr, who uses a motorized wheelchair due to cerebral palsy. Barr's input three years ago inside a mock-up of the car led to design changes that make it easier for disabled riders to use the commuter rail system. His visit was chronicled on 9News. You can view the report at http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/ep3_48.


Photo of rail cars at Union Station Track 1
The first four commuter rail vehicles arrived at Union Station in December 2014

2014 Project Milestones

The Eagle P3 Project had a watershed year during which the peak wave of civil construction passed by and attention started shifting to installation of systems that will make your trains run in 2016.

With the completion of all bridges, walls and track, plus installation of the overhead wires, the East Rail Line took on the look of a finished railroad. And over on the Gold Line and Northwest Rail, while much civil work remains to be done, the alignments, station platforms and all rail bridges are far advanced.

The work that remains this year consists mainly of electric power supply lines, communications, signaling and other systems that play the vital role of operating the trains along the 36 total miles of commuter lines.

Some of our 2014 achievements:
  • Completed the new commuter rail maintenance facility in Globeville, where crews from DTP have moved in and outfitted the operations control center in preparation for train testing out on the tracks later this year.
  • Took delivery of the first four commuter rail vehicles from the assembly plant in Philadelphia.
  • Marked completion of the tracks between downtown and Denver International Airport with a "Joining of the Rails" event.
  • Installed the overhead electric power lines over the East Rail Line.
  • Tested the two system substations, which will feed 25,000 volts of AC power into the lines. Remember, if you see a power line installed, it's live with electricity.
  • Moved BNSF Railway trains onto the Gold Line track west of Olde Town Arvada, allowing us the relocate the old freight track and finish the job.
  • Started work on the Northwest Rail Westminster Station's pedestrian underpass, a highly stylized element of the city's plans for transit-oriented development near the station.
In order to keep the community informed on the progress of the project, our Public Information Team:
  • Sent 21,421 quarterly newsletters via email while distributing 16,000 printed versions in English and 1,250 in Spanish. The printed versions are distributed in 50 locations throughout the project, including libraries, community centers, churches and schools.
  • Distributed just under 200,000 email notifications including construction notices, traffic alerts and public meeting invitations.
  • Delivered more than 36,600 construction notice door hangers and flyers to businesses and residents along the rail lines.
  • Provided more than 146 presentations to elected officials, neighborhood associations, community groups and the general public, individually reaching more than 4,000 people
  • Conducted 17 public bus tours of the project for 423 participants.

Final Track Installed on East Rail Line

Photo of thermite weld on final East Rail Line track
The final piece of track on the East Rail Line was installed on Nov. 24, 2014

Construction of the East Rail Line reached a huge project milestone on Nov. 24, 2014: DTP installed the final piece of track between Union Station and Denver International Airport.

The last rail connection occurred in Aurora at the south end of the I-70 Flyover Bridge, a 5,000-foot long structure that travels over Union Pacific Railroad tracks, Airport Boulevard, 32nd Avenue and Interstate 70.

The rail was connected with clips that were spray painted gold to symbolize the project's "Golden Spike" moment. The clips, inserted horizontally, hold the rail in place on the concrete ties.

The rail for the project was locally procured from the steel mill in Pueblo and the concrete ties were manufactured in Denver. Once put into place, the rail is continuously welded line, eliminating the "click-clack" noise produced by jointed rail.

Construction on the East Rail Line begin in January 2011, with initial construction taking place on the relocation of wet and dry utilities. From there, construction shifted to grading, bridges, roadways, rail crossings and installation of drainage measures. Track installation began in summer 2013 along Peña Boulevard in Denver.

Some of the construction highlights on the East Rail Line to date include:
  • Total bridges: 19
  • Total feet of rail: 436,442 feet
  • Total rail welds: 6,023
  • Total concrete: 58,747 cubic yards
  • Total road crossings reconstructed: 13
Although opening day is just around the corner in 2016, a variety of activities remain to be completed including the stations, systems and communications installation, and testing the trains.

For more information on the RTD FasTracks East Rail Line, visit: http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/ec_1.


Project's Economic Footprint: $1.13 Billion

As 2015 begins, the Eagle P3 Project continues to have a tremendous impact on the Colorado economy, from its groundbreaking in 2010 through the present.

The Eagle P3 Project has pumped $1.13 billion into the economy through December 2014, providing Colorado with a huge boost in business activity.

DTP, the Eagle P3 Project's concessionaire, has employed more than 5,850 individuals as of December 2014, through direct hires and subcontractors. Currently, more than 1,600 people are working on the project. DTP also has contracts with locally certified Disadvantage Business Enterprises (DBE) and
Small Business Enterprises (SBE), with nearly $240 million paid to those businesses since the start of work in 2010. As the project progresses, we are tracking to exceed the goal of 20 percent DBE and SBE participation in qualifying contract work.

The current project economic investment includes:
  • Contractor wages paid - $171 million
  • Equipment, services and supplies - $390 million
  • Subcontractors - $569 million
In total, DTP has subcontracted with 625 firms that employ crews and purchase supplies from local distributors.


On Track to Opening Day...

  • Eagle P3 Project breaks ground, Aug. 26, 2010
  • Right of way acquisition begins
  • RTD selects Denver Transit Partners as contractor
  • Project design underway

Photo of East Rail Line groundbreaking
Eagle Project groundbreaking

Photo of RTD General Manager Phil Washington speaking at groundbreaking
RTD General Manager Phil Washington at the Eagle Project groundbreaking

  • Gold Line breaks ground, Aug. 31, 2011
  • Utility relocations begin on the entire project
  • Right of way acquisition 22% complete
Photo of Gold Line groundbreaking
Gold Line groundbreaking -- Photo courtesy of The Denver Post

Photo of wall construction in Coors Field parking lot
Wall construction at Coors Field

  • Northwest Rail Line Westminster Segment breaks ground, June 28, 2012
  • Multiple bridges on the Eagle P3 Project under construction
  • 407 utility relocations completed project wide
  • Commuter rail car fabrication underway
Photo of installation of rail ties
Installation of concrete rail ties

Photo of girder installation on Peña Bridge
Construction on the Peña Boulevard Bridge

  • Track installation begins
  • Construction on the commuter rail maintenance facility begins
  • Project design 98% complete
  • First commuter rail cars shipped to Philadelphia
Photo of Ralston Creek bridge construction
Ralston Creek Bridge construction

Photo of wire installation
Wire installation along Peña Boulevard

  • Construction complete on the commuter rail maintenance facility
  • Continued rail, electric and systems installation
  • First commuter rail cars delivered to Denver
  • Final track installed on the East Rail Line
Photo of station platform construction
Construction on the East Rail Line

Photo of Moffat Flyover construction
Moffat Flyover Bridge Construction

* - Planned milestones
  • Testing begins on East Rail Line, Northwest Rail Line Westminster Segment, and Gold Line
  • Construction on East Rail Line is complete
  • All Eagle P3 Project commuter rail cars delivered to Denver
Photo of elevator installation at 40th and Airport Station
Construction on the 40th Ave. & Airport Blvd. • Gateway Park Station

Photo of underpass construction at Arvada Ridge Station
Construction on the Arvada Ridge Station

* - Planned milestones
  • Construction on the Northwest Rail Line Westminster Segment and Gold Line complete
  • East Rail Line, Northwest Rail Line Westminster Segment, and Gold Line open for revenue service
Photo of tracks on Peña Boulevard
                   Commuter rail, coming in 2016!


Safety Training, Outreach Begin in 2015

Photo of Vance Street crossing construction in Olde Town Arvada
RTD Eagle P3 Project staff will conduct outreach for safety training in 2015

"Safety first" is plastered on every RTD light rail vehicle and bus, and there is a reason for that. It is the agency's top priority and is taken very seriously by every employee and contractor.

RTD with its contractor, DTP will begin a massive outreach program early this year to educate the public about safety around the three new commuter rail lines that open in 2016 - East Rail Line to Denver International Airport, the first segment of Northwest Rail Line to Westminster and the Gold Line to Arvada/Wheat Ridge.

Safety outreach along the East Rail Line will begin first because the testing and commissioning process will begin there this spring. That means the new rail cars will be operating on the track between downtown and DIA. Outreach for the Gold Line and Northwest Rail Line to Westminster will begin later in 2015.

Through the national Operation Lifesaver model, RTD will reach out to 47 schools that are within a half-mile of the track, and some schools even farther out. This will ensure that nearly 35,000 students, their parents and school faculty learn how to safely maneuver the new at-grade crossings, how to be safe around the new platforms, which are four feet above the tracks, and to avoid tampering with the 25,000-volt AC overhead power system. Remember, if the power line is up, it is live with electricity!

In addition to school outreach, the safety program will offer presentations to organizations for blind and deaf persons as well as those dealing with suicide prevention programs.

For more information on the RTD Operation Lifesaver program for the Eagle P3 project, contact Tara Bettale at tara.bettale@rtd-denver.com or 303.299.2641.


Let's talk... It's Time for an Eagle P3 Project Update

It's a new year and we have many project accomplishments from 2014 to share with your homeowners association, neighborhood group or community organization.

Our public information team would love the opportunity to provide your group with information about the numerous milestones achieved over the past 12 months, including the arrival of the first four commuter rail cars, and a look at upcoming work in 2015.
We welcome the opportunity to share more details on what you can expect as we get closer to opening day in 2016.

Tell us which line you'd like to know more about or select all three, the East Rail Line, known as the train to the airport, the Gold Line serving Arvada and Wheat Ridge, or the Northwest Rail Westminster Segment.

To schedule a convenient date, please contact Zach Alexander at 303.837.2647 or .


Photo of DTP employees with donated backpacks
DTP employees with donated backpacks for
A Precious Child "Fill-A-Backpack" program

RTD and DTP Gave Big in 2014

Charitable giving is an important part of the RTD and DTP community, especially during the holiday season. Here's a recap of some of the volunteer work from the past year:
  • RTD's Annual Paint-a-Thon helped spruce up seniors' homes across the Denver region. Volunteers caulked, sealed and painted houses, cleaned yards, trimmed trees and repaired gutters. This year, 123 houses were repainted for free.
  • DTP's Day of Service took place in the fall with staff donating more than 140 work-hours and $6,000 to community organizations in the neighborhoods where the commuter rail lines are being built. More than 47,600 pounds of food was organized and processed by volunteers for the Food Bank of the Rockies. Volunteers harvested 257 pounds of fresh local produce to serve local soup kitchens and food banks through Grow Local Colorado.
  • Operation Give-a-Gift is an annual RTD program created by the agency 14 years ago. This year, more than 2,400 employee-donated gifts were presented to clients of the Denver Inner City Parish, Colorado State Veterans Home at Fitzsimons, Brookshire House and Warren Village.
  • A Precious Child was the beneficiary of more than 175 DTP-donated toys for its "A Precious Gift" holiday program and 252 filled backpacks for its "Fill-A-Backpack" for children in need of school supplies. The organization is devoted to making a better quality of life for disadvantaged and displaced children in Colorado.

64th Avenue Closed for Bridge Construction

Construction has begun on the last bridge in the entire Eagle Project, and it requires a year-long closure of 64th Avenue.

As part of Northwest Rail Line's Westminster Segment, DTP has closed 64th Avenue between Beach Street and 64th Place in Adams County for 12 months. It is necessary in order to replace the existing roadway with a bridge over the BNSF Railway freight and future commuter rail tracks below. The closure means there will be no through-traffic on 64th between Federal boulevard and Pecos Street until the work is done.

All 64th Avenue businesses will remain accessible during construction. A designated detour for travel between Federal Boulevard and Pecos Street will be established on 72nd Avenue.

"We're very conscious about minimizing impacts to our neighbors," said Eric Chiasson, DTP Northwest Area Construction Manager. "Our crews plan to work regular daytime hours, Monday through Saturday, in an effort to reach our goal of getting in there and returning an improved roadway to the public as soon as possible."

Construction of the 64th Avenue Bridge will result in improvements including:
  • A grade separated roadway that will allow traffic to flow without stopping for a train
  • Elimination of the requirement for passing trains to sound their horn, a much-anticipated benefit for adjacent neighborhoods
  • A new 10-foot sidewalk on the south side of the bridge, a first for the area
*Construction schedules are subject to change. For additional information on the project, contact Christina Zazueta, Gold Line/NW Rail Westminster Segment Public Information Manager at 303.576.3352 or .

Project Progress Photos

Photo of construction on the Olde Town Arvada Station, Oct. 24, 2014
Construction on the Olde Town Arvada Station-Oct. 24, 2014

Photo of construction along Peña Boulevard
Construction along Peña Boulevard-Oct. 20, 2014

Photo of rail installation at Blake Street
Rail installation at Blake St.-Oct. 20, 2014

Photo of tracks along Peña Boulevard
Construction along Peña Boulevard-Oct. 20, 2014

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