WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today celebrated the groundbreaking of Denver’s Southeast Rail Extension Project, which will add to Colorado’s growing transit system by expanding light rail service south of Denver. Last month, FTA awarded approximately $92 million in federal Capital Investment Grant program funds toward the project.
“When completed, the Southeast Light Rail Extension will add yet another important connection to Denver’s forward-looking transit expansion plan,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We are pleased to support a project that will improve access for residents south of Denver to jobs and other opportunities in the metropolitan area.”
The Southeast Rail Extension adds 2.3 miles to the existing 19-mile Southeast Rail Line and connects the Denver suburb of Lone Tree to the line’s Lincoln Station. The expansion will include three new stations in suburban Douglas County, as well as a 1,300-space park-and-ride lot. The first phase of the Southeast Rail Line opened in 2006 as an alternative to busy Interstate 25, running from I-25 and Broadway through the University of Denver south to the Douglas County line.
“By expanding light rail south of the city, we are creating efficient new access to Denver and all the city has to offer for residents in the greater metropolitan area,” said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers. “This investment will improve connections for residents along the I-25 corridor who want to access Denver International Airport or jobs, school, medical care, and other vital services in Douglas County and downtown Denver.”
In April, FTA awarded the $92 million grant to Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD), which represents approximately 41 percent of the $223.6 million total project cost.