1:22pm

Thu March 20, 2014
Transportation

RTD Breaks Ground On New North Metro Rail Line

Thanks to an unsolicited funding bid in 2013 from Regional Rail Partners, cities like Thornton and Northglenn will be linked to the entire RTD system by 2018 instead of 2042.

Speaking at the North Metro Rail Line groundbreaking ceremony in Thornton Thursday, Governor Hickenlooper said the project is a prime example of how the state is becoming a leader in transit expansion.

“It’s going to create a whole new era for the northern suburbs, and it’s going to allow the northern suburbs to be connected to the entire region,” Hickenlooper said.

The first 12.5 miles of the new commuter line will be designed and constructed by Regional Rail Partners. Once additional funds become available, the final six miles of the line will be extended to 162nd Ave and Hwy 7.

Another speaker at the groundbreaking was RTD General Manager Phil Washington.

“It's remarkable to see how far we've come," Washington said. "More than a year ago, this line was not set to be completed for many years. Now, because of innovative financing, working with our stakeholders and reaching out to the private sector, we are here today breaking ground on the first phase of the North Metro Rail Line."

The project is the latest example of innovative funding options completing FasTracks projects sooner.

RTD’s East Rail Line to DIA, the Gold Line to Arvada and Wheat Ridge, and the I-225 Rail Line in Aurora are to be completed by 2016, years ahead of schedule.

While the 1st segment of RTD’s Northwest Rail Line to Longmont is also scheduled to also open in 2016, full completion of the line may not be until 2042, a frustration to many in Northern Colorado.