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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2008, 6:31 PM
myshtern myshtern is offline
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Question DENVER | Transportation Thread

I havent heard anything about the light rail in a while. Any updates? When will things start rolling for the westward lines and union station?
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2008, 6:42 PM
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They have Billions of dollars and until 2017 / 2018? It's been almost 2 years already and not a damn thing yet!!!

I'd say maybe in 2010 you "MIGHT" see something start up? "MIGHT" being the Key word.

GOD I wish Union Staion Partners would have been the chosen team, this is one of the most frustrating things taking place in this City. Or lack there of! It's a damn good thing there is 15+ Cranes in the City other wise I guarantee you every Denver forumer would be BITCHING about Union Station Daily!!!
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2008, 7:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myshtern View Post
I havent heard anything about the light rail in a while. Any updates? When will things start rolling for the westward lines and union station?
Construction on the West Corridor has recently started. Great progress has been made on the Union Station plan. After several years of refining the master plan and finding a way to overcome a $300 million funding gap, the partner agencies and the master developer have finally achieved a fundable/buildable design and have a signed agreement. The final EIS reflecting the revised plan is going through the process and a Record of Decision should be issued this fall. Meanwhile, design for the whole DUS project will be at 30% by August. In May, the consultant to design the public spaces will be selected. Construction on the first "wing" building next to DUS, as well as the Wynkoop Plaza, will start in January 2009. Construction of transit elements will begin in November/December on the new light rail station, which will be completed by Fall 2009. Once the new light rail station opens, then the existing light rail station will be immediately demolished and construction will begin on the underground bus terminal and commuter rail station.
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  #4  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2008, 7:02 PM
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They have been doing quite a bit work in the past two years, but it is not neccessiraly all visible work to you and I.

West corridor:
• In early 2007, the West Corridor project team conducted an internal Value Engineering (VE) exercise to look at ways the project could be more efficient and cost-effective. As a result, FTA requested that an Environmental Assessment (EA) be completed to fully identify and document any impacts of VE.
• By July 2007, final design reached 65 percent.
• In summer 2007, removal of the old rail along the corridor was completed and utility relocation began.
• RTD issued a Draft EA for public comment in fall 2007. A Finding of No Signifi cant Impact decision from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
was received in November 2007, with the Final EA issued in late 2007.
• Major construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2008 with the line opening in 2013. (There was an article in the Post regarding the Kipling Street Light Rail bridge as one of the first to get underway)

Union Station:
Work is still being done on the Environmental Impact Statement and is expected to be complete this Fall. The last I heard is that visible work will begin late Fall or ealry next Spring. Lastly, the RFQ has been issued for all of the landscape/streetscape work.
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  #5  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2008, 7:07 PM
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There is also a large presentation posted on www.denverunionstation.org with some new renderings of the future station and build out of surounding lots.
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2008, 7:21 PM
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  #7  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2008, 7:26 PM
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An interesting tidbit....

Just found out the plan to replace RTD's biggest bus garage, Platte Division... with its 500 plus buses, with the Commuter Rail Division, including maintenence (looks like this operation will be privitized). The RTD District Shops & Dispatch would stay where it is and RTD would build two medium sized bus garages, one on I-76 west of I-25. Although it is not a done deal, there is talk of Light Rail going north via The Denargo Market. There is no exact time table in place.
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  #8  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2008, 7:45 PM
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Thought I saw on the news a while ago somewhere out west they were relocating utilities at a location where they were going to lay track and somebody hit a water main and it flooded a man's house
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  #9  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2008, 8:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HigherHigher View Post
They have been doing quite a bit work in the past two years, but it is not neccessiraly all visible work to you and I.
nor should that "invisible" work should have taken this long either. they've fucked up in many an area, time tables are way off and this thing is quickly starting to look like the big dig in Boston. If you're going to honestly tell me with the work they've done that it should have seriously taken this long, you need to get out of the "government contractor" mindset and realize that things can (and do) get done MUCH quicker when you actually give two shits about it. Especially when it's a no-brainer that costs are eternally rising for virtually everything. There's no excuse these "studies" should be running the length of time and cost that they do. But hey, that's government work for ya, right?
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  #10  
Old Posted May 1, 2008, 3:06 AM
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RTD can't do anything about the timeliness of the studies b/c the federal government requires heavily intense environmental planning on all funded projects. Yes it is politics, but much of it is political because of the past - transportation projects that damaged the environment, killed wildlife habitat, destroyed historic structures & made negative social impacts on minorities & economically depressed areas. It's a pain - but it's better to get it done right the first time.
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  #11  
Old Posted May 1, 2008, 4:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoCSU05 View Post
...you need to get out of the "government contractor" mindset and realize that things can (and do) get done MUCH quicker when you actually give two shits about it. Especially when it's a no-brainer that costs are eternally rising for virtually everything. There's no excuse these "studies" should be running the length of time and cost that they do. But hey, that's government work for ya, right?
Thank you for insulting every person who is working on the Union Station project. Yes, I'm sure none of them give "two shits" about any of it. They're all just mindless bureaucrats sitting behind their desks jerking off and gleefully joking with each other about how fun it is to screw the citizens and waste the public treasury. I bet right now they're plotting their next "unfortunate delay" in the project that will extend the project schedule another few years and add a couple hundred million dollars to the project budget.

Or, perhaps they are people like me (although I'm not contractually involved in any aspect of the DUS project) who are passionate about urban planning and development and who are trying to do the best they can with an incredibly exciting yet challenging project that was underfunded from the get-go by a couple hundred million dollars and that then experienced unprecedented construction cost increases and unexpected rulings from government agencies that created a massively complex engineering/financial puzzle that was finally solved only a few months ago and is now working toward actual design and construction, pending, of course, all of the necessary local, state, and federal regulatory hurdles that need to be addressed, public involvement expectations, pressures from labor and other special interest groups, a national recession, uncertain real estate markets, and fucked-up financial markets.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 1, 2008, 5:01 AM
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Originally Posted by DenverInfill View Post
Thank you for insulting every person who is working on the Union Station project. Yes, I'm sure none of them give "two shits" about any of it. They're all just mindless bureaucrats sitting behind their desks jerking off and gleefully joking with each other about how fun it is to screw the citizens and waste the public treasury. I bet right now they're plotting their next "unfortunate delay" in the project that will extend the project schedule another few years and add a couple hundred million dollars to the project budget.

Or, perhaps they are people like me (although I'm not contractually involved in any aspect of the DUS project) who are passionate about urban planning and development and who are trying to do the best they can with an incredibly exciting yet challenging project that was underfunded from the get-go by a couple hundred million dollars and that then experienced unprecedented construction cost increases and unexpected rulings from government agencies that created a massively complex engineering/financial puzzle that was finally solved only a few months ago and is now working toward actual design and construction, pending, of course, all of the necessary local, state, and federal regulatory hurdles that need to be addressed, public involvement expectations, pressures from labor and other special interest groups, a national recession, uncertain real estate markets, and fucked-up financial markets.
I develop real estate, not on a large commercial scale, but well enough to know that things just arent supposed to move this slowly. I'm sure the project is being done by guys just like you, students and professionals of urban planning design; not financiers who are looking out for their pockets and need the project done on time. It's fun to do impact studies and whatnot but I'd like to see a study done on the public cost and impact of the time that all of these impact studies take

The only thing I'm not sure about is how much of this delay is a result of the federal funding deal.
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  #13  
Old Posted May 1, 2008, 5:05 AM
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I wonder how much money developers and property owners of the area surrounding union station would be willing to pay towards the light rail project and union station redevelopment if those puny height restrictions would be removed.

I still can't believe that a majority of the area surrounding the transportation hub of Denver will be limited to 20 stories.
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  #14  
Old Posted May 1, 2008, 5:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myshtern View Post
I havent heard anything about the light rail in a while. Any updates? When will things start rolling for the westward lines and union station?
They've recently begun heavy construction along the consolidated right-of-way in Lakewood. Ground excavation has started for the Kipling light rail bridge. Other areas west of Sheridan have had some digging done as well.
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  #15  
Old Posted May 1, 2008, 6:04 AM
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Hey Ken, what is your opinion on this giant hole over the train shed where people wait for their trains? I'm seeing the pictures but I don't get it. If the answer is: well we have a view plane, then the view plane has got to go. If the other answer is: we have some little coverings, I still don't get it. This is supposed to be the center of the transit system with thousands and thousands passing through every day right? It makes no sense to me whatsoever. Your illumination would be appreciated.
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Old Posted May 1, 2008, 8:27 AM
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Originally Posted by twellsie View Post
Hey Ken, what is your opinion on this giant hole over the train shed where people wait for their trains? I'm seeing the pictures but I don't get it. If the answer is: well we have a view plane, then the view plane has got to go. If the other answer is: we have some little coverings, I still don't get it. This is supposed to be the center of the transit system with thousands and thousands passing through every day right? It makes no sense to me whatsoever. Your illumination would be appreciated.
That is the only thing I don't like with the current plan -- the Commuter Rail terminal canopy. If they are going to build a canopy like being shown in renderings (with a big whole in it's roof), then it would be best that they save more money and not build one at all. At least then, RTD can add one in the future and do it right with a fully enclosed glass canopy like what was recently constructed in Germany.

I actually like what they've done with everything else. I didn't at first, but I have studied the plans in detail and have found them to be a very efficient and effective design which will be a success.
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Old Posted May 1, 2008, 8:28 AM
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The new diagrams make it look like a european style canopy with no hole. Check out the site HigherHigher mentions a few posts back.
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  #18  
Old Posted May 1, 2008, 12:44 PM
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At the last EIS BOG meeting I attended, they specifically said the canopy is a placeholder only. It has not been designed, but they need to show something in the renderings otherwise people will say "what, aren't you going to have any shelter/protection out there?". Plus they also had to have something to put in the line item in the budget.

RTD has a requirement that a certain percentage (I think it's 40% or something like that) of the platform area have shelter. The view plane is also an issue. Directly in the center of the station in line with the big windows is likely to be no canopy at all. There seems to be a very strong desire in the community to not block the view of the station from down 17th Street.

The Union Station project isn't really "delayed" that much anyway. If you look in the original FasTracks plan, there was several years put in place for all that has or is yet to transpire: selection of the master developer, refinement of the plan, completing the EIS, costing out and doing the design, then at least four years of construction. Keep in mind that under the current timetable, the commuter rail station will be completed for at least two years before the first commuter rail train arrives.
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Last edited by DenverInfill; May 1, 2008 at 1:08 PM.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 1, 2008, 12:55 PM
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nor should that "invisible" work should have taken this long either. they've fucked up in many an area, time tables are way off and this thing is quickly starting to look like the big dig in Boston. If you're going to honestly tell me with the work they've done that it should have seriously taken this long, you need to get out of the "government contractor" mindset and realize that things can (and do) get done MUCH quicker when you actually give two shits about it. Especially when it's a no-brainer that costs are eternally rising for virtually everything. There's no excuse these "studies" should be running the length of time and cost that they do. But hey, that's government work for ya, right?
Most assanine thing I've ever read. Thanks.
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  #20  
Old Posted May 1, 2008, 1:10 PM
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I hadn't actually had any impression that any of the projects were delayed at all. I didn't expect to see any real construction until the end of this year. I thought there ware several years lead time built into this.
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