RTD staff recommends proposal for Southeast Rail Line Extension
Information and map provided by the City of Lone Tree
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) staff recommended to the RTD Board of Directors July 14, to move forward with a proposal from Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. (BBII) to design and build the Southeast Rail Extension.
The proposal commits to completing construction of the line by early 2019. Once approved by the RTD board, BBII would begin design on the project in the fall with construction expected to start in spring 2016. The projected opening of the extension is scheduled for 2019.
The current projected budget for the Southeast Rail Extension is $233.1 million. This total includes $34 million spent through 2014 on environmental analysis and preliminary engineering and design acquisition of eight light rail vehicles for the project.
The remaining $198.7 million project cost will be financed through a combination of federal, private and local funds.
Half of the project will be funded by the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) New Starts program, which supplies major capital grants to metropolitan areas; plus a sizable local match of 14 percent from private businesses and local governments; and 36 percent from RTD through local funding sources.
The project has been accepted into FTA’s New Starts engineering phase and is included in President Obama’s fiscal year 2016 budget.
“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.
The Southeast Rail Extension will build an additional 2.3 miles of light rail line that will run along the west side of I-25 from the Lincoln Station and then cross over the Interstate and run along the east side of the highway to the south side of RidgeGate Parkway in Douglas County.
When the extension is complete it will include an end-of-line station at RidgeGate Parkway, 1,300 parking spaces, and bus transfer and kiss-n-ride facilities. In addition, two more stations will be added as walkup or neighborhood stations. One will be adjacent to the Sky Ridge Medical Center, near I-25 and RidgeGate Parkway. The other will be in the planned Lone Tree City Center east of I-25, and south of Lincoln Avenue.
The current Southeast Rail Line is 19 miles long and connects passengers at I-25/Broadway to Lincoln Avenue in Douglas County and also runs along I-225 from I-25 to the Nine Mile Station at Parker Road in Aurora.
Beginning in late 2016, passengers will be connected between Nine Mile and the Peoria Station near I-70 when the R Line through Aurora opens. They can then ride to and from the airport on the new A Line opening in spring 2016.