Denver RTD to open FasTracks line early

Posted on May 23, 2012

Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) will open the FasTracks West Rail Line to the public on April 26, 2013, eight months ahead of the originally scheduled opening date.

The West Rail Line is the first FasTracks project to be completed and part of the current $4.2 billion investment in the region. Presently, 50 miles of new rail line are in construction or under contract to begin construction.

“The way we managed our first major FasTracks project is indicative of our success in managing projects in the past and what we anticipate for the future,” said Phil Washington, GM, RTD. “But, this doesn’t happen without teamwork between RTD and our partners, namely the Federal Transit Administration and all of our regional stakeholders.”

The new light rail line will travel for 12.1 miles from Denver Union Station and head west through parts of Denver, Lakewood and terminate in the foothills at the Jefferson County Government Center in Golden. The line will serve an estimated 19,300 riders per weekday and will run every five minutes along most of the line during peak hours.

Currently, the West Rail Line is 93% complete. Major construction of the light rail line will be finalized later this summer, followed by completion of the signals and communications system in late 2012. Construction on the Wadsworth and Sheridan parking structures will continue through early March 2013, and RTD light rail operations will conduct final testing and operator training through the spring of 2013.

Final construction of the $707 million project will include 5,600 parking spaces and 12 new stations.

Events leading up to the opening of the West Rail Line include the Sheridan park-n-Ride groundbreaking on June 29 and a bike event this fall in which community members will be able to ride the newly constructed bike path along various locations of the line. Construction on the parking garage at Wadsworth and 13th Avenue began last month.

RTD’s FasTracks transit expansion program will build 122 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, add 21,000 new parking spaces, redevelop Denver Union Station and redirect bus service to better connect the eight-county District.

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