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RTD, Regional Rail Partners sign contract to build North Metro Rail Line

RTD and Regional Rail Partners (RRP) signed a contract to initiate the first phase of construction on the North Metro Rail Line, one of four electrified commuter rail lines RTD is building across the region as part of its ambitious FasTracks transit expansion program.

RRP, formerly Graham, Balfour Beatty and Hamon Contractors (GBBH), is the prime contractor that will design and build the new rail line.  It will serve Denver, Commerce City, Thornton, Northglenn and Adams County.

North Metro Contract Signing. Dec. 13, 2013
RTD gave RRP the Notice to Proceed with design and construction of the North Metro Rail Line
On Friday, Dec. 13, RTD and RRP signed the contract to formalize their partnership and RTD issued a Notice to Proceed.

On Nov. 26, the RTD Board of Directors gave final approval to RRP's $343 million proposal to design and build the 13-mile first phase of North Metro Rail to 124th Avenue with the option of extending the line farther north as funds become available.

The first phase of North Metro Rail will open in 2018. When the entire line is completed it will span 18.5 miles between Union Station and 162nd Avenue/Colorado Highway 7.

"This contract demonstrates RTD's commitment to making investments in Denver's northern communities as we keep FasTracks moving forward," said RTD General Manager and CEO Phil Washington, one of the contract's signatories.

"Building North Metro to 124th Avenue as a first phase makes it affordable for RTD to fund the project. When additional funds become available-and we are confident that will happen-we will be able to complete this important corridor," Washington said.

Also at the signing ceremony were RTD Board Chair Lorraine Anderson and other RTD board members; corridor stakeholders; and RRP representatives Balfour Beatty Rail Inc. Vice President and Transit Division Manager Joe Reed, Graham Contracting Ltd. District Manager Greg Ritke and RRP Project Director Ravi Swami.

"A year ago we wouldn't have thought this day would be possible, but through perseverance, creativity and regional partnerships, we are celebrating this exciting next step toward completing the FasTracks program," Anderson said.

RTD commuter railcar in Philadelphia assembly plant
RTD commuter railcar undergoes assembly at the Hyundai Rotem plant in Philadelphia
Washington said it was unprecedented for a large transit agency to initiate, negotiate and finalize the competitive bidding process for infrastructure projects the size of North Metro in such a timely manner, and welcomed RRP to the fold of contractors working to complete FasTracks projects.

"What you are joining is a fraternity that gets projects done on time and on budget. That's how we do things and I know that's how you do things," he said.

For his part, Reed said his team was "honored to be working with RTD to complete this next leg of FasTracks."

In contrast to light rail lines, commuter rail lines rely on larger, heavier railcars that provide faster service with fewer stops and higher speeds. See a video of the first group of RTD's commuter railcars to arrive in the United States.

Other FasTracks commuter rail lines under construction across the Denver metro region are the Gold Line to Wheat Ridge and Arvada; the East Rail Line to Denver International Airport; and the first segment of the Northwest Rail Line to Westminster.

The I-225 light rail line is also under construction across Aurora.




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