ENR Mountain States has chosen its annual Owners of the Year, two entities whose leadership and projects have transformed their respective regional landscapes and improved the lives of many residents. In the Colorado and Wyoming area, our choice for Owner of the Year for 2012 is Denver’s Regional Transportation District, and on the Intermountain side, we have selected the Utah Dept. of Transportation.
RTD is under way with some of its largest and most important projects to date. RTD’s $2-billlion-plus Eagle P3 project will build new rail lines from downtown to Denver International Airport, Arvada and points north. The two-phase commuter rail project involves building 36 miles of rail, 30 bridges and 15 rail stations. A two-square-block maintenance facility also will be built off 48th Avenue. Phase 1, launched in mid-2010 with Denver Transit Partners’ selection as project builder and operator, includes property acquisition, construction of the East Corridor and maintenance facility, and the purchase of rail vehicles.
Phase 2, started in mid-2011, consists of the Gold Line and a short segment of the Northwest Rail Corridor. The second phase started after RTD got a $1.03-billion grant from the Federal Transit Administration, and ground was broken on the Gold Line to Arvada.
In addition to these projects, RTD started work in 2012 on the $240-million U.S. 36 Bus Rapid Transit project, partnering with the Colorado Dept. of Transportation; and awarded a contract to Kiewit Infrastructure Group to complete the $748.5-million I-225 Rail Line in Aurora by the end of 2015.
RTD also recently received a confidential, unsolicited proposal from by Graham Contracting Ltd. For work on the North Metro Rail Project, another key part of the agency’s FasTracks program. The North Metro project is an 18.4-mile electrified commuter rail line that will connect Denver and Adams County by serving Commerce City, Northglenn and Thornton. RTD has said it will release an RFP later this year to build North Metro up to 72nd Avenue by refinancing some of agency’s debt, issuing new sales tax bonds and using available local funds.
Also, RTD’s West Rail Line between downtown and Golden will open for riders at the end of April. The 12.1-mile West Rail Line was the first of RTD’s FasTracks projects to start construction and will be the first to open to the public—eight months ahead of the original schedule. The West Rail Line will operate between Denver Union Station in downtown Denver and the Jefferson County Government Center in Golden, serving Denver, Lakewood, the Denver Federal Center, Golden and Jefferson County.

The Utah Dept. of Transportation has recently completed some of the biggest projects in its history.
The I-15 Corridor Expansion project, or CORE, reconstructed 24 miles of freeway from Lehi to Spanish Fork. The project widened the freeway by two lanes in each direction, replaced the original asphalt with new 40-year concrete pavement, extended the Express Lane from Lehi’s Main Street to Spanish Fork and rebuilt or replaced 63 bridges and 10 freeway interchanges.
Construction was finished in an unprecedented 35 months, making I-15 CORE the fastest billion-dollar public highway project ever built in the United States. The project also came in $260 million under budget.
I-15 CORE was built by Provo River Constructors (PRC), a consortium of Utah firms headed by Fluor Corp., with Ames Construction Co. Inc., Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Co. Inc. and Wadsworth Brothers Construction Co. Inc. The consortium included more than 30 subcontractors.
UDOT has finished the first phase of the $120-million Mountain View Corridor, an ambitious 35-mile freeway, transit and trail system connecting 13 municipalities along the western edge of the Salt Lake Valley. The project includes replacement bridges and two parallel two-lane roads and connectors. The rest of the project will be built out over the next 10-15 years as demand increases and funding is available.
UDOT is nearly complete with work on the Bangerter Highway expansion, a 25-mile-long, north-south road that runs parallel to Interstate 15 to the east and stretches from Salt Lake International Airport on the north end to an intersection with I-15 on the south. It will greatly improve mobility for people in the communities of Kearns, Taylorsville, West and South Jordan, home to an estimated 250,000 residents.
Current projects include SR-265 University Parkway widening and I-15 bridge projects, among others.
Both agencies say that 2013 will another busy year for them, dependant, as always, upon consistent funding streams and some help from the feds.