RTD awards $140M contract to extend southeast light-rail line

Map for light rail expansion

The Regional Transportation District’s board late Tuesday approved a $140 million contract with Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. and partners to design and build an extension to RTD’s light-rail line across Denver’s southeast suburbs.

The current route, built in 2006 and served by the E and F trains, runs along Interstate 25 through the Denver Tech Center, Greenwood Village and Centennial and ends at Lincoln Avenue at Lone Tree.

As part of its FasTracks light-rail expansion project, RTD wants to extend the southeast line 2.3 miles to a point south of RidgeGate Parkway in Douglas County, where parking for 1,300 vehicles will be built.

The extended route will feature stops at Sky Ridge Medical Center and the future Lone Tree City Center, and will include a rail bridge over I-25.

RTD’s schedule calls for design work to begin this fall with construction starting in spring 2016. The work is slated for completion by early 2019.

“This extension will make it possible for RTD to connect people in a rapidly growing part of the metro area to the rest of the region, including Denver International Airport,” said Dave Genova, RTD’s interim general manager, referring to RTD’s separate project to extend rail service from central Denver and Aurora to the airport.

Construction on the southeast-line extension is dependent on completion of a funding agreement from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), RTD said.

The Balfour Beatty contract is part of an overall southeast extension project budgeted at $233.1 million, including $34 million already spent on environmental analysis, preliminary engineering and design, and acquiring eight light rail cars.

RTD said it will finance about half of the remaining $198.7 million project cost through the FTA’s “New Starts” program, along with a 14 percent local match from businesses and local governments in the southeast metro area, and 36 percent from RTD funds.

Read more at Denver Business Journal.