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Old Posted Jan 31, 2018, 4:50 AM
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Part two

Time Value of Money

Cirrus is right in the sense it does no good to worry or fret over what you didn't do yesterday or a decade ago. Places like Nashville can only decide what is best to do now and move forward. But that doesn't mean that Denver doesn't get credit for doing what it did when the voters approved FasTracks and it was subsequently built.

I can recall observing various additional work that was being done in conjunction with the W Line. That is when EngiNerd proclaimed that actually the W Line was a drainage project masquerading as a light rail line. There were other types of work done as well. There were 3 street bridge reconstructions and IIRC Sheridan was redesigned and regraded for safety when the new bridge was built. There was also three pedestrian bridges, two light rail tunnels, one pedestrian tunnel and 4.26 miles of bike paths. Except for the projects directly related light rail, presumably all this other drainage and bridge work was on some masterplan to be done and some unknown point in time. Thanks to FasTracks it's now done and at post-recession costs of construction.

This is also true of every line to varying degrees. They weren't just laying X miles of track. Each line included a lot of utility specifically drainage work as well as other misc. improvements. All this infrastructure work is now completed (except N Line) and all of it was contracted on the basis of much lower costs than it would cost today if RTD was just starting.

Not only at lower construction costs but Federal grants payed for half the costs in most cases. While not unusual at the time it's hard to say if that kind of matching funds will be available in the future.

Regardless of any specific numbers of riders at the moment Denver metro can be grateful that they created Fastracks when they did. The Time Value of Money means we are talking about some serious money. A few million here, a few million there and soon we're talking about $billions saved.
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