(Left to right: Tony Louie, FTA, RTD Director, Gary Lasater, Linda Gehrke, FTA, Roger Partridge, Douglas County Commissioner, Keith Simon, Coventry Development, Dave Genova, RTD General Manager, Roger Wilson, VP of Operations, Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc., and Andy Mutz, Project Manager, RTD.)
Federal, state and local officials joined with Denver's Regional Transportation District (RTD) to officially break ground on RTD’s Southeast Rail Extension project, which adds 2.3-miles to the existing 19-mile Southeast Rail Line that parallels I-25. The light rail line will be extended from Lincoln Avenue to RidgeGate Parkway in Douglas County.
The $233.1 million construction project is estimated to create more than 300 jobs through 2019. The project will also add three bridges and three new stations. Three bridges will carry light rail trains across the 620-foot-long Lincoln Avenue Bridge; a 1,397-foot-long bridge over I-25; and the 506-foot-long bridge over RidgeGate Parkway.
The three new stations will be located at Sky Ridge Avenue (near the Sky Ridge Medical Center); the future Lone Tree City Center; and an end-of-line station at RidgeGate Parkway with 1,300 parking spaces. All stations will be within walking distance of more than 500 acres of new mixed-used, commercial and residential development.
The $233.1 million construction budget includes a $92 million capital investment grant to RTD from the Federal Transit Administration. The federal funds allowed RTD to give Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc., the notice to proceed with construction. Balfour Beatty is the construction contractor selected by RTD to build out the extension transit project. The firm has also been involved in RTD’s Eagle P3 commuter rail project and the North Metro commuter rail line.
RTD’s investment in the Southeast Rail Extension project is $71 million with remaining costs covered by $7.5 million in federal funds from the Denver Regional Council of Governments and an unprecedented $25 million in cash and an estimated $3 million in land and right-of-way permits from the city of Lone Tree, Douglas County, Coventry Development Corporation and the Southeast Public Improvement District.
RTD GM/CEO Dave Genova explained that when the project is completed in 2019, residents will have the option to travel from the RideGate Station on the E Line to Union Station, the F Line to 18th•California, and the new R Line through Aurora to Peoria Station. At the new Peoria Station riders will be able to connect to the University of Colorado A Line commuter train to Denver International Airport or to Union Station in downtown Denver.