Construction has started on the RTD SE Light Rail line extension
A rendering of the RTD RidgeGate Parkway Station, east of I-25 and west of Havana Street. The station will have a 1,300-space, four-level parking garage and bus transfer facility.
By Patte Smith; artistic rendering courtesy of Regional Transportation District (RTD)
On May 16, Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. (BBII) broke ground on the southeast FasTracks rail line extension that will run from Lincoln Avenue to RidgeGate Parkway. The 2004 voter-approved 2.3 mile RTD Southeast FasTracks extension will add to the current 19 mile southeast rail line that runs parallel to I-25. There will be three new light rail stations: the Skyridge Station, Lone Tree Town Center Station, and end-of-line RidgeGate Parkway Station.
At the ceremonial groundbreaking on May 10, the Federal Transit Administration awarded RTD $92 million for the project. “Although it took many years of hard work and many hurdles,” stated City of Lone Tree Mayor-at-Large Jim Gunning, “this project would not have been possible without the collaboration and partnership of many public and private organizations.”
RTD representatives noted that 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 and the Southeast Public Improvement District made the Southeast Rail line extension a reality for the region.
“This is the core of future mobility,” emphasized Gunning. “It is a transformation of this southeast area that will bring new businesses, essential development, and will have a very positive impact to our growing economy.” Commissioner Roger Partridge noted that it will enhance the pleasure of working and living in the area. “The connectivity will see big payoffs for the southeast region.”
John Cotton, public works director for the City of Lone Tree, confirmed at the groundbreaking ceremony that RidgeGate Parkway will be widened in 2018. This is good news for area residents who are concerned about the impact the end-of-line light rail station will have on the already congested road during the rush hours.
Cotton stated, “The RidgeGate Parkway project will begin at Havana and go east all the way to the eastern boundary of Lone Tree where it connects to Main Street in Parker. There will be new bridges for both the north and south sections of the road, as well as the separated bike track. The road will then be six lanes from the roundabout by Sky Ridge Hospital all the way to Parker.
When the project is completed in 2019, residents will have the option to travel from the RidgeGate Station on the E Line to Union Station, the F Line to 18th and California, and the new R Line through Aurora to Peoria Station and connect to the University of Colorado A Line commuter train to Denver International Airport or to Union Station in downtown Denver.
Online video tours of the flyovers, where the rail line will run, the bridges, and the station stops is available at www.rtd-fastracks.com/se_53.