April 30, 2012
Welcome to Inside FasTracks – Welcome to Inside FasTracks – a monthly e-update designed to keep you informed about the progress of the Regional Transportation District’s FasTracks program, upcoming events, meetings and news. Inside FasTracks arrives the last Monday of each month.
RTD Board Concurs Not to Pursue FasTracks Tax Increase in November
For the past several months, the RTD Board has been evaluating technical, financial and economic information and public input, related to whether to pursue a FasTracks sales tax election this year.
On April 24, at a Board Study Session, the Board had a discussion about a potential election in November and indicated its preference to not pursue a sales tax ballot initiative this year. This was not a formal action, but all 12 Board Members in attendance concurred that it would be very difficult to achieve a successful election this year for many reasons.
While economic conditions are slowly but steadily improving in the Denver Metro area, the RTD Board does not believe that the timing is right for a sales tax ballot initiative. The Board also acknowledged that the region has more work to do to further define how transit can best be provided in the Northwest area.
At their May 22 Board meeting, the Board will take a formal vote on withdrawing the recently submitted report to the Denver Regional Council of Governments, which assumes a successful 2012 tax vote. The Board gave staff direction to submit a revised plan with alternate assumptions. The RTD Board is committed to completing the entire FasTracks program and will
aggressively pursue alternative funding like grants, public-private partnerships and unsolicited proposals to remain steadfast in this vision. See the April 24 presentation.
RTD Seeks Ideas for I-225 Rail Line
RTD will be releasing a Request for Proposals in May for the I-225 Rail Line after finding that an unsolicited proposal from Kiewit Infrastructure Company on March 8 has merit. Kiewit and all other interested firms can submit a detailed proposal on how to complete the I-225 project sooner rather than later. The first segment from Nine Mile to Iliff is already under contract through a partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation, which is widening the highway in that same area. A groundbreaking for the I-225 Rail Line will occur in mid-May.
Let the Construction Begin! Lakewood•Wadsworth Park-n-Ride Groundbreaking
Approximately 150 people watched as RTD broke ground on the four-story parking structure at 14th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard on April 11. The Park-n-Ride is scheduled to open with the West Rail Line in May 2013. Congratulations to the West Rail Line project team for achieving another milestone! Construction of a parking structure at Sheridan will begin later this spring.
The FasTracks Effect
Have you ever wondered how RTD identifies, tracks and measures how the FasTracks program affects the region and achieves its goals? Check out the Quality of Life Report for details.
Input Received for Service Changes near West Rail Line
RTD held public hearings in April to provide West Rail Line information and get feedback about potential bus route changes once the line opens in May 2013.
RTD Service Changes Begin May 13
The May 2012 service changes focus on adjusting services in response to recent service reductions and changes in ridership and operational performance. RTD makes adjustments to bus and light rail schedules three times a year to improve the overall quality and efficiency of the system.
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
RTD participates in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day each April to give children the opportunity to learn about careers in public transit. On April 26, 53 children, grandchildren and significant children of RTD staff participated in tours and activities to learn about the RTD world of work and the skills required to be employed.
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. More than 37 million children and adults participate at over 3.5 million workplaces annually.
The program was founded by Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women. The idea was to promote career opportunities for girls, since for a long time there were not many job options for women.
The program was expanded in 2003 to include boys; however, most companies that participated had always allowed boys and girls to participate, usually renaming it "Take Our Children to Work Day" or an equivalent.
Even the White House participates! This year about 200 children toured the mansion and met with the Park Service, Secret Service, White House pastry chefs and Council on Environmental Quality.
Central Rail Extension
The team continues further technical analysis of the extension, including study of a streetcar alternative, and is evaluating the options for extending streetcar into downtown Denver with potential for funding beyond the FasTracks program.
Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility
Building design is progressing on what will be a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified facility.
One structure on the site has been demolished and utility relocations are underway.
The CRMF yard has reached 100 percent design level.
Denver Union Station
The overall project is 61 percent; the light rail terminal is 99 percent complete; the bus box is 64 percent complete; the commuter rail station is 44 percent complete; and the streets and plaza are 71 percent complete.
Free guided tours of the Denver Union Station redevelopment site will be held at 4:30 p.m. beginning May 10 and continuing on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month through July.
East Rail Line
Girders were set on the Broadway-Brighton Bridge during an overnight street closure. The bridge deck will be poured in April.
Baseball’s opening day was met by completed drainage and utility relocation work during the Colorado Rockies’ off season.
Utility relocations continue as the contractor gets set for major construction later this season.
Property acquisition has begun along the alignment, including station areas and grade crossings.
Utility relocations will be starting soon in Olde Town Arvada with some street closures anticipated. Check the website for current detour information.
Building demolitions were done at the site of the Argo substation, which will provide power to the Gold Line.
I-225 Rail Line
SEMA Construction Inc. will begin work soon on the light rail track area from Nine Mile to Iliff and the expansion of I-225 from Mississippi Avenue to Parker Road.
RTD received an unsolicited proposal for the I-225 Rail Line extension and found it met the FasTracks goals and objectives. The RTD Board voted on April 17 to seek competitive bids through a Request for Proposals, which will be released in May.
North Metro Rail Line
On March 15, the North Metro Team issued a Request for Proposals for final design of segment one from Denver Union Station to the National Western Stock Show Station, with an option for final design to 72nd Avenue.
The North Metro Team is evaluating proposals received on April 19. An anticipated Notice to Proceed is scheduled for the third quarter of 2012.
Negotiations continue with Denver and CDOT toward reaching consensus on an intergovernmental agreement in the next few months.
Property acquisition, utility relocation of gas, water and wastewater lines, and demolition of several structures have begun along the first segment of the rail line to Westminster Station.
On March 27, the RTD Board approved a revised plan for the northwest area that keeps commuter rail to Longmont and, in the near term, adds bus rapid transit service to address more immediate transit needs.
Southeast Rail Extension
RTD engineering staff is working on advanced basic engineering and is coordinating project scope with stakeholders. Environmental planning efforts continue to complete tasks necessary for the first submittal to the FTA required for entry into the New Starts program for federal funding.
Southwest Rail Extension
The Board approved the use of $8.5 million of the construction-ready plan for the relocation of Union Pacific Railroad track for development of the project. Final design for this work is scheduled to begin early 2013.
US 36 Bus Rapid Transit
The contract for the queue jumps at McCaslin and Church Ranch is scheduled to be advertised in April with notice to proceed anticipated for June. The project will take six months to build.
The managed lane project to 88th Street is scheduled to begin this summer and be completed by Dec. 31, 2014—six month ahead of schedule.
Construction of the Table Mesa pedestrian bridge over US 36—another component of RTD’s bus rapid transit project—is scheduled for completion in March 2013.
West Rail Line
Track installation was completed and the first clearance test was conducted as a light rail vehicle was pulled through the corridor on March 22 and 23.
Work on the foundation of the Lakewood~Wadsworth Garage has started. A groundbreaking took place April 11.
Road construction began on 13th Avenue between Wadsworth and Harlan Street. 13th Avenue (north and south) will be closed in two-block sections through the spring and summer to accommodate final construction.