Final Piece of Track Installed on East Rail LineOn Nov. 24, 2014, the construction of the RTD FasTracks East Rail Line reached a huge project milestone: contractor Denver Transit Partners installed the final piece of track on the rail line between Union Station and Denver International Airport. This last rail connection occurred in Aurora at the south end of the I-70 Flyover Bridge, a 5,000-foot long structure that travels over Union Pacific Railroad tracks, Airport Boulevard, 32nd Avenue and Interstate 70.
The rail was connected with clips that were spray painted gold to symbolize the project’s “Golden Spike” moment. The clips, inserted horizontally, hold the rail in place on the concrete ties.
The rail for the project was locally procured in Pueblo while the concrete ties on which the rail sits were purchased in Denver. Once put into place, the rail is continuously welded on the East Rail line, eliminating the “click-clack” noise by jointed pieces of rail.
Construction on the East Rail Line begin in January 2011, with initial construction taking place on the relocation of wet and dry utilities. From there, construction shifted to civil construction: bridges, reconstruction of roadways and rail crossings, grading and installation of drainage measures. Track installation began in summer 2013 along Peña Boulevard in Denver.
Some of the construction highlights on the East Rail Line include:
- Total bridges: 19
- Total feet of rail: 436,442 feet
- Total rail welds: 6,023
- Total concrete: 58,747 cubic yards
- Total road crossings reconstructed: 13
Although opening day is just around the corner in 2016, a variety of activities remain to be completed including the stations, systems and communications installation and testing the trains.
For more information on the RTD FasTracks East Rail Line, visit: http://www.rtd-fastracks.com/ec_1.
In September, Denver Transit Partners (DTP) was given a temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) for the commuter rail maintenance facility (CRMF). The TCO signifies the transfer of the building from the design-build contractor, PCL Construction, to DTP. With the TCO in place, DTP is moving into the building that will repair, clean, maintain and store the vehicles that will serve the four FasTracks commuter rail corridors: Gold Line, East Rail Line, Northwest Rail Line and North Metro Rail Line.“With the CRMF complete, we can start receiving the rail cars, which leads to testing and commissioning, and finally, opening day,” said DTP Stations Manager, Troy Denike.
During peak construction of the CRMF, there were 67 subcontractors including vendors, and 210 employees for this effort that achieved 20 percent disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) participation. The 30-acre site in north Denver is in the process of applying for LEED Silver certification, highlighting the Eagle P3 Project’s commitment to sustainability through the construction and operations.
With stakeholder interest high for the East Rail Line commuter rail trains traveling from Union Station to Denver International Airport, the annual East Rail Line open house hosted more than 200 people this year. This year’s open house was held on Sept. 13, 2014, at Swigert International School in Denver.The Eagle P3 Project hosts an open house each year for the public to find out more about RTD’s FasTracks commuter rail lines. With construction on the Eagle P3 Project in full swing, the open house allows attendees to talk to project staff about the project schedule, commuter rail car design, station construction, rail technology and safety.
Project contractor, DTP hosted the event where residents and merchants from neighborhoods along the East Rail Line alignment asked questions and gathered information on project progress.Attendees were able to see specialized construction equipment brought on-site, review station plans and inquire about on-going or upcoming construction work in their neighborhoods. Attendees were able to make direct inquires to RTD staff members on a host of topics including proposed fares, impacts to current or future bus routes and plans for transit development.
Also on display was safety equipment used in construction and dynamic progress photos providing a glimpse of the new commuter rail vehicles that will be operating on the FasTracks commuter rail lines: East, Gold, Northwest Rail and North Metro lines.
We hope to see at next year’s open house!
RTD Reopens 40th Avenue between Blake and York Streets
After 19 months of construction, the Regional Transportation District (RTD) reopened a highly improved 40th Avenue between Blake and York streets on June 30, 2014. This half-mile of roadway was closed while contractor Denver Transit Partners (DTP) built a section of the tracks for the East Rail Line, which will connect Union Station in downtown Denver with Denver International Airport (DIA).But the job was much more than tracks.
During the course of this project, the roadway was relocated to the south in order to create space for the tracks. The roadway was completely repaved in concrete.
Due to poor stormwater drainage within the adjacent Cole neighborhood, crews excavated down as much as 20 feet below the surface to install a 10-square-foot drainage box culvert. This box culvert will carry runoff from the area, which is subject to frequent flooding.
Additionally, for the first time, eight-foot-wide sidewalks were installed along the south side of 40th Avenue. This creates an additional layer of pedestrian safety and connectivity within the neighborhood, compared to the previous gravel shoulder pedestrians used.
Many utilities were relocated during the course of this project, including brand new underground gas, water, electric and communication lines. The dry utilities were housed into a centralized ductbank, which will make future maintenance on these lines easier.
In addition to the roadway and utility construction, the East Rail Line tracks – with rail from the steel mill in Pueblo – were installed and surrounded by permanent fencing. The track area includes the placement of overhead power poles that will carry the wires that will power the commuter rail line.
RTD and DTP thank nearby residents, motorists, businesses and commercial truck drivers for their patience during this construction project.
To see a slideshow of before and after pictures of 40th Avenue, go to tinyurl.com/40thAvenue.
Pecos Time-lapse Video…Worth A Thousand Words!
Suspending freight train operations for eight hours is a rare occurrence. But that’s exactly what Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway and Denver Transit Partners (DTP) did in preparation for the Regional Transportation District (RTD) FasTracks Eagle project. The installation of drainage systems under the BNSF track will serve the future Gold Line and Northwest Rail Line Segment tracks. Click on the video below to watch this exciting piece of work unfold!
For additional information on the Eagle P3 project or other RTD FasTracks rail lines, please visit www.rtd-fastracks.com.
DTP crews setting girders on the commuter rail bridge over Peña Boulevard. The work is part of the RTD FasTracks East Rail Line, the commuter rail train from Denver Union Station (DUS) to Denver International Airport
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DTP work crews constructing the Broadway Bridge, Sand Creek Freight Bridge, and the Quebec Street Bridge. The work is part of RTD FasTracks East Rail Line, the commuter rail train from Denver Union Station (DUS) to Denver International Airport
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