Denver (Southwest LRT)

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Southwest LRT

Denver, Colorado

(November 1996)


The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is implementing an 8.7-mile light rail transit (LRT) extension from the I-25/Broadway interchange in Denver parallel to Santa Fe Drive to Mineral Avenue in Littleton. The double-track system will operate over an exclusive, grade-separated right-of-way and connect with the existing 5.3-mile Central Corridor light rail line, which was constructed entirely with local funds and opened in October 1994.

The capital cost for the project is $176.32 million (escalated dollars). This estimate includes local costs already incurred by RTD for right-of-way acquisition, a portion of an existing LRT maintenance and storage facility, transit improvements along the Southwest corridor, and preliminary engineering, as well as new costs for final design, construction, and the acquisition of rolling stock. The project is estimated to carry 8,400 passengers per day in the year 2000 (opening year) and 22,000 passengers per day in 2015.


Preliminary engineering has been completed. FTA issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) in February 1996 and signed the Record of Decision in March 1996. RTD and FTA entered into a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) in May 1996 committing $120 million in Section 5309 New Start funding.

>Through FY 1997, Congress has appropriated $1.49 million in Section 5309 New Start funds. An additional $1.34 million has also been provided from reprogrammed funds for a total of $2.83 million.

Final design is currently underway with an estimated completion date of March 1997. Construction is estimated to be completed in 2000

Proposed Source of Funds

Total Funding ($million)


Section 5309 New Start

FFGA Amount

$120.0 ($2.83 million appropriated through FY 1997, including $1.34 million provided from reprogrammed funds)

Section 5307



RTD Sales and Use Tax and in-kind contributions