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April-July 2015 Quarterly Newsletter


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Eagle P3 Project Quarterly Newsletter - April-July 2015
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Commuter rail vehicles arrive at Denver International Airport for the first time

Train Cars Are On The Move!

Trains are rolling on the Eagle P3 Project.

The Regional Transportation District's (RTD) commuter rail project has entered an exciting new phase of the work. A year-long testing and commissioning process of the East Rail Line, which makes up just over half of the project, will build to opening day of the A Line.

A Line - that's the name RTD has given to the train that will run 23 miles between downtown Denver and Denver International Airport.

The 25,000-volt substation that will provide all the juice needed to run these heavier commuter rail cars has been tested. The overhead power lines installed above the East Rail Line tracks have been electrified. And the first rail cars have operated under their own power on the tracks out at the airport.

Denver Transit Operators, the arm of Denver Transit Partners (DTP) that will operate and maintain the commuter rail system under contract with RTD through 2044, will gradually expand the testing program. It starts with slow-running trains along Peña Boulevard, where there are no public rail crossings. Later, trains will begin to run along Smith Road and finally all the way west into Union Station.

Before the A Line opens to the public, DTP will have tested the line at full speed and full schedule. DTP will provide RTD with the exact opening date six months beforehand.

Because commuter rail is new to the Denver region, the testing and commissioning process is different than it was for the light rail system. The Federal Railroad Administration is involved along with the Federal Transit Administration. The automobile and pedestrian crossings are different, and the passenger platforms are higher above the tracks.

RTD is conducting a safety program to familiarize the public with these aspects of commuter rail as part of the build-up to opening day.

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Trains will be tested all along the East Rail Line in 2015

Eagle P3 Project Sets Major Goals in 2015

Commuter rail gets much closer to reality in 2015 as construction of the East Rail Line wraps up and testing of trains begins on the tracks between downtown Denver and Denver International Airport.

But that's only the start of what shapes up to be a year of transition for the Regional Transportation District's (RTD) single biggest project ever.

All across the Eagle P3 Project, three new rail lines are in the homestretch to their 2016 opening days.

Test trains start running in April under their own overhead electrical power along the Peña Boulevard portion of the East Rail Line. Denver Transit Partners (DTP) chose this area because there are no at-grade street crossings of the tracks, making it safer for the initial testing.

RTD also is making a big public education push to let the public - especially school students and their parents, the elderly and people with disabilities - know how to stay safe around the new commuter rail lines.

Public bus tours of the project will resume in May. Watch for the announcement of times and dates.

The big new maintenance facility, where 230 new jobs are being created for the operation of the rail lines, will be open to the public for an open house on July 25. It is about twice the size of RTD's light rail maintenance facility off Santa Fe Drive in Englewood.

RTD is planning to mark the "Joining of the Rails" on the Gold Line sometime late this year with a "Golden Spike" event, and on the Northwest Rail Line, the new 64th Avenue road bridge over the tracks will be completed after a year of construction.

The biggest milestone of the year, however, may be the announcement of the official opening date of the East Rail Line. Expect that to come close to the end of the year.

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Public tours of the CRMF will begin May 5, 2015

Eagle P3 Public Tours Are Back!

Bus tours for the public to see the Eagle P3 Project are starting up again in May and will run through October. There are separate two-hour tours of the East Rail Line and the combined Gold Line/Northwest Rail Segment. Tours on the East Rail Line will be on the first Thursday and third Saturday of each month, while Gold Line/Northwest tours will be on the third Thursday of each month. The following dates have been scheduled:

East Rail Line:
May 7
May 16
June 4
June 20
July 2
July 18

On the East Rail Line tour, you will see:
  • Rail alignment near DIA
  • Station platforms and Park-n-Rides under construction
  • Installation of pedestrian and motorist signal gates

Gold Line/Northwest Rail:

May 21
June 18
July 16

On the Gold Line/Northwest Rail tour, you will see:
  • Installation of the overhead power poles
  • Intersection reconstruction through Olde Town Arvada
  • Construction on all of the station sites
Space is limited to the first 35 people who sign-up.

Beginning in May, our team is proud to introduce tours of our new commuter rail maintenance facility (CRMF)! The CRMF tours will be held the first and third Tuesday of each month at 4 p.m. Space is limited to the first 12 people who sign up. The following dates have been scheduled:

May 5    
May 19
June 2
June 16
July 7
July 21

The CRMF tours will include visiting the following areas of the facility:
  • Operations Control Center (OCC)
  • Shop floor
  • Stored commuter rail vehicles

For East Rail Line Tour information and reservations, call Joshua Solis at 303.297.5284. For Gold Line/NW Rail or CRMF 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.

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Denver Stands Up for Transportation


Stand Up for Transportation unity parade in Denver

On National Stand Up for Transportation Day, April 9, Denver sent a message to Congress that a permanent federal funding solution is necessary for transportation agencies across the nation. The current federal transportation funding bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) is a temporary bill that expires May 31, 2015. RTD hosted a 15-stop signature bus tour where community members were able to show support by signing a specially wrapped Stand Up 4 Transportation bus.

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When the Northwest Rail Westminster Segment opens in 2016, riders will
be able to easily connect from the train station to a future park,
shops, residences and the parking garage.


Transit-Oriented Development Good for Communities

Private developments are starting to pop up near stations along the East Rail Line, Gold Line and Northwest Rail Westminster Segment, which open in 2016. RTD's Transit-Oriented Communities Division has answered a few frequently asked questions to help residents and business owners better understand RTD's relationship with private developers.

Q: What is transit oriented development (TOD) and transit oriented communities (TOC)?

A: Transit-oriented development is typically a compact, relatively dense mix of uses that allow people live, work and have other activities near easy access to transit. Transit-oriented communities use TOD to create walkable connections to surrounding neighborhoods, provide housing for families of diverse incomes and provide jobs to people in their neighborhoods.

Q: How does a rail line or station affect my property value?

A: Every region is different, but properties with good access to stations typically see higher values compared to similar properties father from stations. Contact a real estate professional to determine the value of your property because other factors besides transit affect the value of your home or business.

Q: What is RTD's role in transit oriented communities and development?

A: RTD works with private developers and local cities and counties, which regulate land uses and development around stations. RTD doesn't develop anything other than the transit improvements. RTD may partner with developers and local governments to use surplus property near for TOD, while receiving compensation and other benefits in return.

Q: What are the benefits of having transit oriented communities and development in my city or neighborhood?

A: TODs create destinations in neighborhoods where people can live, work, shop, eat and engage in other activities. TODs provide jobs, services and homes for people. Studies show that residents and employees of TODs can save money due to less reliance on cars and improve their overall health by walking more in an environment where it's more fun to do so. 

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Through March 2015, the Eagle P3 Project has added $1.19 billion to the economy

$1.19 Billion: Eagle P3 Project Builds Local Economy

The Eagle P3 Project continues to have a major economic impact on the Colorado economy. From our project groundbreaking in 2010, we understood the value in contracting with small businesses and in creating local job opportunities.

The Eagle P3 Project added $1.19 billion to the economy through March 2015, resulting in a significant increase in business activity.

Denver Transit Partners (DTP), the Eagle P3 Project's concessionaire, has employed more than 6,180 individuals as of March, through direct hires and subcontractors. Currently we have 1,393 people working in numerous positions on the project.
DTP also contracts with locally certified Disadvantage Business Enterprises (DBE) and Small Business Enterprises (SBE), with more than $240 million paid to those businesses since the start of work in 2010. As the project progresses, we are on track to exceed the goal of 20 percent DBE and SBE participation in qualifying contract work.

The current project economic investment includes:
$187 million: DTP contractor wages paid 
$404 million: Equipment, services and supplies
$603 million: Subcontractors
 
In total, DTP has subcontracted with 625 firms that employ crews and purchase supplies from local distributors.

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Save the Date-Gold Line/NW Rail Open House

Join RTD and DTP for our annual community open house!

Get the latest on our construction progress as we build the RTD FasTracks Gold Line to Wheat Ridge and the Northwest Rail Line to Westminster.

  • See final station designs
  • Learn about the new commuter trains
  • Find out about Quiet Zones coming to the area

We're serving a pancake breakfast, so bring your family, friends and neighbors!
Saturday, June 6, 2015

Olde Town Square
W. 57th Avenue & Olde Wadsworth Boulevard
Arvada, CO 80002
Time: 9 - 11 a.m.
 
For additional information, special needs requests or to request Spanish translation, please contact Christina Zazueta at 303.576.3352 or Christina.Zazueta@dtpjv.com.

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The pedestrian underpass under construction at the Westminster Station

Westminster Station Progress Update

The Westminster Station is located on the Northwest Rail Line, at 71st Avenue and Irving Street in Westminster.

Leaving 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.

Once the Northwest Rail Westminster Segment opens, the trip to and from Denver Union Station and Westminster will take 11 minutes. There will be 350 parking spaces for riders.

The city of Westminster is building a new park adjacent to the station along Dry Creek.

Currently, DTP construction crews are building the underpass that will take people under the existing BNSF Railway track from the parking garage on the north to the commuter rail platform on the south.

The Northwest Rail Line Westminster segment will open to the public in 2016.

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Crews have turned on the overhead electric power lines along the East Rail Line

Be Safe! Overhead Wires Powering Up

RTD and its contractor, Denver Transit Partners (DTP), have turned on the overhead electric power lines along the East Rail Line in anticipation of a year-long testing program starting this spring.

These wires carry 25,000 volts of electricity and can be extremely dangerous, even fatal, if anyone comes close to them. RTD asks the public to stay away from the tracks and the wires, and never try to touch or throw anything at them. The public should always assume that if the wires are installed that they are live with electricity.

This spring, trains will begin to run under their own power so it is important to remember these other safety tips:

  • Never trespass on any train track - it is illegal and dangerous.
  • Cross the tracks only at designated crossings, always follow safety signs and obey warning devices such as flashing red lights and gate arms.
  • Stay alert and look both ways for a train - you may not hear them coming.
  • Never trespass onto construction sites and stay off the train station platforms until they are open to the public.
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Project Progress Photos


Construction in the CRMF yard-March 10, 2015


Construction on the 41st and Fox Pedestrian Bridge-April. 8, 2015


I-70 Flyover under construction-Jan. 10, 2015


Commuter rail vehicle being pulled into the 40th/Colorado Station for the first time-April 3, 2015

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