The Regional Transportation District Board of Directors has formally approved a proposal by Kiewit Infrastructure Co. to complete the I-225 Light Rail Line to Peoria by November 2015. The line would open in mid-2016 after about six months of testing. With a vote of 14-0 and one member absent, the RTD Board’s decision paves the way for the agency to complete another complete FasTracks rail line.

On July 3, RTD staff recommended the proposal to the board after finding that it offered the best value, with a financially sound solution that allows RTD to take advantage of the current market. The Kiewit team includes Mass. Electric Construction Co., AECOM and RBC Capital Markets.

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. The line will also serve the future VA Hospital, a seven-state regional facility that will serve approximately 60,000 military veterans and their families.

Now that the plan has been approved, RTD will finalize contract negotiations with Kiewit and aim to issue a notice to proceed later this summer.

“The Kiewit team appreciates that the RTD Board has chosen us to deliver the I-225 Rail Line, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership with RTD,” said Craig Briggs, senior vice-president/central district manager with Kiewit Infrastructure Group. “We also look forward to continuing to work with the small business community.”

In March, Kiewit approached RTD with an unsolicited proposal. After reviewing the initial proposal, RTD staff determined it had merit and was 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.
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.

Over the past year, RTD has publicized the agency’s desire to seek out innovative ways 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, held Sept. 27, 2011.

“The completion of the I-225 line will offer economic growth and employment opportunities for the metro area,” said RTD Board Chair Lee Kemp. “We heard compelling input from the public to support this decision. Providing connectivity between major employment and medical centers and DIA, along with offering new transit options for tens of thousands of riders, will benefit people throughout the entire region.”