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Fall 2013 Quarterly Newsletter

Header for Eagle Commuter Rail Project NewsletterEagle P3 Project Quarterly Newsletter - Fall 2013
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We're Halfway to Opening Day

Photo of Eagle P 3 Project Halway to Completion Event

Officials at the Eagle P3 Halfway to Opening Day event conduct a sand ceremony to commemorate the project reaching the 50 percent completion point.

The Regional Transportation District's (RTD) commuter rail project is half completed and on track for the openings of three new rail lines in 2016.

The commuter rail project, a public-private partnership called Eagle P3, marked its halfway point in August with a milestone event near the South Platte River Bridge. Dignitaries from our six local governments, our federal government partners and the Eagle P3 team of RTD and Denver Transit Partners (DTP) poured colored sand into a glass cylinder, filling it halfway with a unique pattern representing the collaborative nature of the project.

The site was chosen because it sits near the halfway point on the three lines, and near the new commuter rail maintenance facility, where all of the rail cars will be stored and maintained.

The project is halfway to completion both by the calendar and by the value of work in place. The three lines will be opened in sequence through 2016 starting with the East Rail Line between downtown Denver and Denver International Airport. That will be followed by the Northwest Rail Line to Westminster and then by the Gold Line to Arvada and Wheat Ridge.


Final Assembly Starting on New Rail Cars

Photo of steel sheel of rail car being unloaded from cargo ship at Port of Philadelphia

The steel shells for the first commuter rail cars arrived in Philadelphia in the latter part of September 2013. The vehicles were unloaded from the ship and loaded onto trucks for final delivery into the Hyundai Rotem USA plant. Once in the plant, the vehicles will be fully outfitted with all of the vehicle components.

The steel shells for the first 20 commuter rail cars have arrived at the Hyundai Rotem plant in Philadelphia to begin final assembly. Following an extensive design and testing period in which four pilot cars were completed and run on their own power, production can now proceed at full pace.

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is acquiring 56 of the updated Silverliner V electric commuter rail cars. Fifty of them are for the Eagle P3 Project to operate on lines to Denver International Airport, Westminster, Arvada and Wheat Ridge. The other six were added to the order after RTD identified funding to construct the North Metro Line.

The steel shells are fabricated in Hyundai Rotem's plant in Korea, then shipped to Philadelphia - via the Panama Canal - for final assembly. The cars meet Buy America standards through the use of numerous components that are U.S.-made, and through American labor. There are no U.S. companies that wholly manufacture electric commuter rail cars.

The completed cars are expected to begin arriving in Denver in the second half of 2014.


Colorado Businesses are Big Part of the Job

Photo of track installation at 56th Avenue on East Rail Line

All of the rail for the Eagle P3 Project was produced from recycled steel at the EVRAZ mill in Pueblo, and the concrete ties were produced in Denver by Rocla Concrete Tie Co. The scene here is at 56th Avenue on the East Rail Line.

Nearly 400 Colorado businesses have been involved in providing services or materials to RTD's commuter rail project. The concessionaire, Denver Transit Partners (DTP), has committed more than $840 million to vendors and suppliers.

Of that total, $232 million has been committed to 160 small and disadvantaged businesses, with more than 60 percent of it already paid out. On the design side of the project, DTP has exceeded its goal by more than 30 percent, with $26.4 million in commitments to small and disadvantaged firms. On the construction end, the project is on its way to meet and exceed the goal of $215.7 million to small and disadvantaged companies, with $205 million in commitments.

In addition, the project has tapped into RTD's Workforce Initiative Now (WIN) program to hire 40 career-training participants onto the project. DTP has financially supported the WIN program, whose participants have gone on to transportation and construction jobs on other projects as well.

Between the Colorado vendors and suppliers the project is using, and the career opportunities through the WIN program, RTD's aim is that on opening day three years from now, you'll be able to say that you saw someone you know working on the new commuter rail project.


Transit Alliance Gives Leadership Award to DTP

Greg Amparano accepts private sector leadership award from Transit Alliance, Nov. 8, 2013DTP Executive Project Director Greg Amparano accepted the Transit Alliance Award on Nov. 8, 2013.

Denver Transit Partners, RTD's contractor on the Eagle P3 Project, was honored on Nov. 8 with the 2013 Transit Alliance Leadership Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Private Sector. This award signifies DTP's leadership in advancing the Eagle P3 Project, along with its commitment to delivering a high-quality regional transit system that will serve the Denver metro region for many years to come.

Executive Project Director Greg Amparano accepted the award on behalf of the project team at a breakfast at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Denver. The event was attended by more than 350 elected officials, municipal staffs, builders, developers, legislators, business leaders, grassroots organizations and transit advocates.

Transit Alliance works to enhance metro region communities and peoples' lives by cultivating a transit-friendly lifestyle.


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 Peoria Station on East Rail Line

Rendering of the Peoria Station located on the East Rail Line in Aurora.

Peoria Station

The Peoria Station is located on the East Rail Line along Smith Road west of Peoria Street in Aurora. From Denver Union Station, the Peoria Station will be the fourth stop.
  • Travel time to/from DUS: 17 minutes
  • Travel time to end-of-line Denver International Airport: 18 minutes
  • Parking spaces on opening day: 550
  • Type of parking: Surface
Rendering of 41st and Fox Station on the Gold Line

Rendering of the 41st & Fox Station located on the Gold Line in Denver.

41st & Fox Station

The 41st & Fox Station is located on the Gold Line, along Fox Street, north of 38th Avenue in Denver. From Denver Union Station, the 41st & Fox Station will be the first stop along the Gold Line.
  • Travel time to/from DUS: 4 minutes
  • Travel time to/from end-of-line Ward Road Station: 21 minutes
  • Parking spaces on opening day: 500
  • Type of parking: Surface

Eagle P3 Project Goes Wild

Photo of bear near embedded storm sewer pipe at Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado

A bear at the Wild Animal Sanctuary walks by a storm water pipe. Donated sections of storm water pipes are used to create burrows and refuge areas.

In the course of building the RTD FasTracks East Rail Line to Denver International Airport, construction crews unearthed large sections of stormwater pipe within the rail alignment. Workers found 21 pipe sections, each measuring 8 feet in length.

Rather than demolishing and disposing of the pipe sections, an employee suggested that the pipe sections be donated to the Wild Animal Sanctuary, located just outside of Keenesburg, about 40 minutes northeast of Denver in Weld County.

The pipes were used to create underground dens and refuge areas from the heat for the large animals within the sanctuary.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary's mission is to rescue captive exotic and endangered large carnivores that have been abused, abandoned or illegally kept. Currently, about 200 animals live at the sanctuary.

This repurposing of these pipe sections highlights the RTD FasTracks Eagle P3 Project's commitment to sustainability by finding ways to repurpose, reuse and recycle materials whenever feasible.


DTP Hosts Fourth Annual East Rail Line Open House

Photo of information booth at East Rail Line open house

Brian Donohue, DTP System Integration Manager, talks to community members about the commuter rail vehicle at the East Rail Line Open House
held in October 2013.

The Eagle P3 Public Information (PI) team held the fourth annual RTD FasTracks East Rail Line Open House on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. The open house was held at Swigert International School in Denver. More than 400 members of the community attended in order to learn about the project.

The open house consisted of booths about construction, the commuter rail vehicle, stations and a variety of other project topics. The event had a street fair theme that included face painting, a cotton candy station and a popcorn booth. Large construction equipment, including an excavator, was available on-site and visitors to the open house were able to take photos of the equipment.

The Eagle P3 PI team also held a downtown information session directly aimed at commuters during the lunch hour on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, at Market Street Station. More than 130 attendees visited the booths to receive project information on the East Rail Line.

The PI team looks forward to connecting with you next year for our 5th annual East Rail Line Open Houses. Open houses for the Gold Line/NW Rail will be held in spring of 2014. Be on the lookout for information in 2014 for these upcoming events.


Alert Workers Rescue Lost Man

Photo of Adolfo Nietch and Christine Reed, safety officer and flagger respectively, near Havana Street and Smith Road

Adolfo Nietch (left), Denver Transit Constructors' East safety lead, and Christine Reed (right), Rocky Mountain Flagging's flagger at Havana Street and Smith Road, were responsible for reuniting a lost man with his family.

Something about the man walking along the East Rail Line work zone seemed out of place. Walking with the aid of a cane, he went slowly, his mouth open. He was underdressed for the morning chill.

Adolfo Nietch, the Denver Transit Constructors' safety lead on the East Rail Line, and Christine Reed, a flagger for Rocky Mountain Flagging, sensed he needed assistance and went to his aid. Their decision to intervene resulted in reuniting a lost man with his family and supported maintaining a safe work site for workers and the public.

The man's family reported him missing shortly before he stepped off an RTD Route 44 bus at Havana Street and Smith Road, near the East Rail Line work zone. Nietch recognized the man's behavior as consistent with dehydration. Denver paramedics responded and were able to give aid to the man and get him back to his family.

In a brief ceremony on the work site, RTD Eagle Project Director Brian Middleton and DTP honored Nietch and Reed for their quick action in the Oct. 22 incident. Project workers are counseled to keep an eye on the work site for things that are out of place, and to act on those observations.


Stay Connected!

Learn More About the Eagle P3 Project

Photo of public information manager presenting at a public meeting in Arvada Library

A member of the Public Information team presenting at a community meeting.

The public information team at the Regional Transportation District and its Eagle P3 Project concessionaire, Denver Transit Partners, will come to your group meetings to present the latest status, facts and figures on the nation's most innovative public-private partnership . If you're interested in learning more about the East Rail Line, Gold Line/NW Rail Westminster Segment or any other aspect of this project, let us get on your schedule. Contact Denver Transit Partners (DTP) Public Information office at 303.837.2647 to request a project presentation for your group or HOA .


Construction Tours Prove Popular with Public

Photo of guide on bus tour of East Rail Line

Members of the public enjoying a tour of the East Rail Line
on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013.

Public tours of the construction areas on the East Rail Line and the Gold Line/Northwest Rail Westminster Segment were booked almost as soon as they were announced in September. Using a Regional Transportation District (RTD) 40-seat bus, the public information staff for the Eagle P3 Project conducted four tours before the tours went into hiatus for the cold-weather season.

Staff from RTD and Denver Transit Partners (DTP) provided four tours in September and October. The itineraries for the tours cover the major construction areas, including all of the East Rail Line work on Peña Boulevard and Smith Road, and the Gold Line's major bridges and commuter rail maintenance facility.

Public tours will resume in April. Stay tuned to the project's newsletters and website for the announcement.


Gold Line Info at Arvada Library Through 2016

The Arvada Library is playing host to an informational display on the Gold Line. Library visitors will be able to obtain up-to-date information on construction and other facts about the project through the duration of construction and testing on the trains.

The display also includes a model of the new commuter rail vehicle that RTD will be using for the Gold Line. The model was put together by Wally Weart, a member of the Arvada Gold Line Advisory Committee.

The library, at 7525 W. 57th Ave., is located a block north of the future Olde Town Arvada Station which is on Grandview Avenue, between Olde Wadsworth and Vance Street.

The Gold Line display will be updated monthly with general information on the 11.2-mile commuter rail line, especially fact sheets on the three stations in Arvada: Sheridan Station (Sheridan Boulevard between 58th and 60th avenues), Olde Town Arvada Station and Arvada Ridge Station (on Ridge Road west of Kipling Street).

The display also will have our construction update, which is published each month to let you know the work that's just been completed, what's underway and what is upcoming.

The Arvada Library, part of the Jefferson County Public Library system, is open Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon to 8 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.


Project Progress Photos

Photo of construction on Utah Junction Bridge on Northwest Rail and Gold Line

Northwest Rail Utah Junction Bridge construction over freight rail yard

Photo of retaining wall construction on Ridge Road on Gold Line in Arvada

Wall construction along Ridge Road on the Gold Line

Photo of track installation on Peña Bridge on East Rail Line

Rail construction at Peña Bridge on the East Rail Line

Photo of track construction on East Rail Line on Smith Road in Aurora

Track construction along Smith Road on the East Rail Line

Photo of track hardening installation on EastRail line at 38th and Blake streets

Track hardening construction at 38th and Blake streets

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