The Regional Transportation District staff recommended to the RTD Board of Directors on July 3 to move forward with a proposal from Kiewit Infrastructure Co. to complete the I-225 Light Rail Line all the way to Peoria Street. The proposal also commits to completing construction of the line by November 2015, around the same general timeframe as completion of the East Rail Line. The Kiewit team also includes Mass. Electric Construction Co., AECOM, and RBC Capital Markets.

Highlights of the Kiewit proposal and the proposal submitted by Balfour Beatty Ames Joint Venture were shared with the RTD board, which will hear public comment on the recommendation before making a final decision. The public will have an opportunity to provide input at a special FasTracks Monitoring Committee meeting Tuesday night. The board will hear additional public comment, discuss the matter and take action in committee on July 17. The board is then expected to take formal action on a contract award at a special meeting on July 24.

“We had two very sound proposals, but all things considered, the Kiewit proposal provides the better value and allows us to complete another FasTracks project,” said RTD General Manager Phil Washington. “The connectivity between major employment and medical centers and DIA will benefit the entire region.”

Completion of the I-225 Rail Line through Aurora to the East Rail Line at Smith and Peoria will connect major destinations like the Aurora City Center, the Anschutz/Fitzsimons Medical Campus and Denver International Airport.

In March, Kiewit approached RTD with an unsolicited proposal. After reviewing the initial proposal, RTD staff determined it was consistent with the agency’s Unsolicited Proposals Policy and worthy of moving forward to a competitive procurement process. On June 14, RTD received two competitive proposals for the I-225 Light Rail project – one from Kiewit Infrastructure Co. another from Balfour Beatty Ames Joint Venture.

Over the past year, RTD has publicized the agency’s desire to seek out innovations to complete the FasTracks program as soon as possible, enhance the RTD customer experience and reduce the cost of RTD operations. This was the premise behind RTD’s first industry forum called “Transformation Through Transportation,” which was held Sept. 27.

Construction on the first segment of the I-225 line from Parker Road to Iliff began in May under a contract with the Colorado Dept. of Transportation as CDOT constructs highway improvements in that area.