RTD and its contractor, Denver Transit Partners (DTP), are turning on the overhead electric power lines along the East Rail Line between Union Station and Denver International Airport in anticipation of a year-long testing program starting this spring. These wires hold 25,000 volts of electricity and can be extremely dangerous, even fatal, if anyone comes close to them. RTD asks everyone to please stay away from the tracks and the wires, and never try to touch or throw anything at them.
Currently, RTD is powering up the lines in sections as part of the electrification testing process. Soon the entire line will be live with electricity. The public should always assume that if the wires are installed that they are live with electricity.
This spring, trains will begin to run under their own power so it is important to remember these other safety tips:
- Never trespass on any train track — it is illegal and dangerous.
- Cross the tracks only at designated crossings, always follow safety signs and obey warning devices such as flashing red lights and gate arms.
- Stay alert and look both ways for a train — you may not hear them coming.
- Never trespass onto construction sites and stay off the train station platforms until they are open to the public.
The Eagle P3 Project joins an elite group of organizations providing exemplary occupational safety and health protection and serving as a model for others. Less than one percent of all workplaces governed by OSHA are accepted into VPP. “With nearly 6,000 employees on the project to date, we have implemented safety programming to make sure that everyone, including employees and the public, returns home safely at the end of each work day,” said Aaron Epstein, DTP’s CEO and Executive Project Director.The achievement was celebrated at a luncheon on February 6, 2015, where OSHA presented the Star VPP designation to Denver Transit Partners. Attendees included OSHA representatives, the project safety staff, project and joint venture company executives, and RTD management. Brad Baptiste, Regional VPP Manager for OSHA Region VIII, presented a commemorative plaque and flag to project management on behalf of OSHA to signify the safety achievement.
The Eagle P3 Project’s safety programming hinges on employee involvement and participation. It is designed to provide opportunities for employees to impact safety improvement. “The VPP designation demonstrates that we are constantly working toward a better health and safety culture. It also validates the importance of robust safety programming and practices on every jobsite,” said Eagle P3 Project HSE Manager Joe Weimerskirch.
During the week of October 20, 2014, OSHA’s VPP Review Team, comprising representatives from OSHA’s regional and national offices as well as special government employees, visited the Eagle P3 Project site to determine the project’s eligibility for participation in VPP. This visit signified the culmination of a year-long program to educate the project workforce about VPP and how it relates to the project’s safety culture.
DTP embraces the OSHA program, which includes guidelines for the Eagle P3 Project’s Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) program. The guidelines provide for the development and empowerment of project employees with shared values and personal commitment toward a safe and healthy workplace. This approach to worker protection can save lives, reduce injuries and illnesses, and promote cooperation and communication in the workplace.
“RTD focuses on safety for our passengers, employees, and contractors. We are proud to see Denver Transit Partners receive recognition for its safety efforts on the Eagle P3 Project,” said RTD CEO and General Manager Phil Washington.
Let’s talk… It’s Time for an Eagle P3 Project Update!
It’s a new year and we have many project accomplishments from 2014 to share with your homeowners association, neighborhood group or community organization.
Our public information team would love the opportunity to provide your group with information about the numerous milestones achieved over the past 12 months, including the arrival of the first four commuter rail cars, and a look at upcoming work in 2015.
We welcome the opportunity to share more details on what you can expect as we get closer to opening day in 2016.
Tell us which line you’d like to know more about or select all three, the East Rail Line, known as the train to the airport, the Gold Line serving Arvada and Wheat Ridge, or the Northwest Rail Westminster Segment.
To schedule a convenient date, please contact Zach Alexander at 303.837.2647 or Zach.Alexander@dtpjv.com.
64th Avenue Closed for Bridge Construction
Construction has begun on the last bridge in the entire Eagle Project, and it requires a year-long closure of 64th Avenue.
As part of Northwest Rail Line’s Westminster Segment, DTP has closed 64th Avenue between Beach Street and 64th Place in Adams County for 12 months. It is necessary in order to replace the existing roadway with a bridge over the BNSF Railway freight and future commuter rail tracks below. The closure means there will be no through-traffic on 64th between Federal boulevard and Pecos Street until the work is done.
All 64th Avenue businesses will remain accessible during construction. A designated detour for travel between Federal Boulevard and Pecos Street will be established on 72nd Avenue.
“We’re very conscious about minimizing impacts to our neighbors,” said Eric Chiasson, DTP Northwest Area Construction Manager. “Our crews plan to work regular daytime hours, Monday through Saturday, in an effort to reach our goal of getting in there and returning an improved roadway to the public as soon as possible.”
Construction of the 64th Avenue Bridge will result in improvements including:
- A grade separated roadway that will allow traffic to flow without stopping for a train
- Elimination of the requirement for passing trains to sound their horn, a much-anticipated benefit for adjacent neighborhoods
- A new 10-foot sidewalk on the south side of the bridge, a first for the area
During Construction segments of the Clear Creek Trail located within in the area where the bridge is being constructed will be closed and a detour will be provided to accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
*Construction schedules are subject to change. For additional information on the project, contact Christina Zazueta, Gold Line/NW Rail Westminster Segment Public Information Manager at 303.576.3352 or Christina.Zazueta@dtpjv.com.
First Commuter Rail Cars Arrive
The Denver Metro area recently received its first glimpse of the Regional Transportation District (RTD) commuter rail vehicles that will service the East Rail Line, Gold Line, Northwest Rail Westminster Segment and the North Metro Line.
On Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, RTD General Manager Phil Washington, along with the Denver Transit Partners (DTP) Executive Director Aaron Epstein, Hyundai Rotem CEO Kyu-Hwan Han and RTD Chairman of the Board Chuck Sisk hosted a ribbon cutting event displaying the first four commuter rail vehicles. The vehicles were shipped to Denver from the Hyundai Rotem plant in Philadelphia. Once the ribbon was cut, elected officials from the metro area and other key stakeholder viewed the new cars.
Over the next four days, RTD and DTP opened the new rail cars to the public. During the open house, over 6,500 citizens took the opportunity to tour the new rail cars – a new rail technology for the Denver Metro Area. Some highlights of the new car are:
- Capacity for 232 passengers, 91 seated and 131 standing
- Level boarding at every door
- Top speed of 79 miles per hour
- Message screens throughout the vehicle to display passenger alerts
The new cars are the final product of an extensive process. In 2012, DTP presented a mock unit of the rail car to the public. During the viewing of the mock unit, the public provided the DTP team with a series of recommendations. As a result, in the final rail cars come equipped with the following features:
- ADA seating areas in the rail car feature theater-style seating. This allows an individual in a wheelchair to easily access the area when no one is sitting there, as the seats will return automatically to the up position
- The windscreens near the ADA seating areas were shortened to increase mobility
- The car’s two large luggage racks were increased from 2 vertical sections to three, increasing capacity
- Bike storage was added to the car. In each rail car there are two identical bays that allow two bikes to fit either vertically or horizontally
DTP is expecting to receive 52 more cars from Hyundai Rotem, with four cars a month being delivered to Denver. The cars will enter service in 2016 with the opening of the East Rail Line, the first segment of the Northwest Rail Line, the Gold Line and in 2018 the North Metro Rail Line.
Final Piece of Track Installed on East Rail Line
On 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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click to close.
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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click to close.