Denver, Colorado/Denver Southeast Corridor

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Southwest LRT

Denver, Colorado

(November 1998)


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 LRT 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.


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 Starts funding.

TEA-21 Section 3030(a)(24) authorizes the Denver Southwest LRT for final design and construction. Through FY 1999, Congress has appropriated $64.12 million in Section 5309 New Start funds. An additional $1.34 million was provided in FY 1997 from reprogrammed funds for a total of $65.46 million made available to the project.

Construction is underway and is scheduled to be completed in July 2000.

Proposed Source of Funds Total Funding
Appropriations to Date
Federal: § 5309 New Start (FFGA Amount) $120.00 $65.46 million appropriated through FY 1999
Federal: § 5307 $18.88 $18.00 million in Flexible Funds
Local: RTD Sales and Use Tax and in-kind contributions $37.44 N/A
Total: $176.32

Note:Totals may not add due to rounding.

Southwest LRT Map (PDF)