The Regional Transportation District (RTD), the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and SEMA Construction, Inc. celebrates the groundbreaking for the I-225 Rail Line.
The event signifies the beginning of construction on the light rail project. This milestone will be commemorated with a farewell to the old Yale Bridge, which will be replaced with a larger bridge to make room for the light rail and widening of the highway. The first segment from Nine Mile to Iliff, which is being built as a rail/highway expansion partnership with CDOT, will open in summer 2014.
The I-225 Rail Line is a 10.5-mile light rail extension that will travel through the City of Aurora and a small section of Denver. The line, part of RTD’s FasTracks program, will connect the existing Southeast Light Rail Line at the Nine Mile Station with the planned East Rail Line at the Peoria/Smith Station and will include eight stations.
Constructing the first segment of the line from Nine Mile to Iliff as part of CDOT’s expansion project allows both RTD and CDOT to efficiently complete the rail line and highway expansion by sharing construction resources. It will also allow the agencies to minimize inconvenience to the public by expanding the light rail and the highway at the same time. The Yale Bridge is expected to be closed for approximately six months while it is reconstructed. Traffic will be interrupted between South Xanadu Way on the west side and South Abilene Street on the east side of I-225 during reconstruction.
RTD’s FasTracks transit expansion program will build 122 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, add 21,000 new parking spaces, redevelop Denver Union Station and redirect bus service to better connect the eight-county District.