It may look like a mess right now, but signs of active construction running along I-70 mean the latest Regional Transportation District (RTD) light rail project — the Gold Line — is underway.
The $536 million project, contracted to Denver Transit Partners, will connect Union Station to Wheat Ridge, for a total of eight stops: Union Station, 41st/Fox, Pecos Junction, Clear Creek/Federal, 60th & Sheridan/Arvada Gold Strike, Olde Town Arvada, Arvada Ridge, and Wheat Ridge/Ward.
The 11.2 mile electric commutertrain line is expected to take 25 minutes eastbound and 26 minutes westbound and will operate 21 hours out of the day. The scheduled completion date is late 2016.
Along with construction of the light rail line itself, residents will see upgrades within the vicinity of the stops, including big improvements to 41st and Fox station and Arvada Ridge.
A new pedestrian bridge is going to replace the 70-year-old structure over the rail yards at 43rd street, connecting Sunnyside and Globeville neighborhoods. Arvada Ridge will see pedestrian-friendly improvements, such as new curbs, and arms are going up at the rail crossings so that residents no longer have to listen to the train horns signaling their passage.
RTD is making every effort to minimize construction hassles for commuters and local residents. Kevin Flynn, the Public Information Manager, reports that progress thus far has been very smooth, with very little resistance from the neighborhoods and all projects well underway. A factor in the project’s success thus far may be that RTD is attempting, whenever possible, to procure local materials in the construction process.
RTD is aware that this new line may complicate what many believe is an already too complex system of calculating fares to ride light rail in Denver. They held a public meeting on August 28, 2014 specifically to address the fare schedule.
with RE/MAX of Cherry Creek