Denver, Colorado/Southwest LRT

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Southwest Corridor LRT

Denver, CO

(November 1999)

(click here for map)


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 line 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 new line will feature five stations.

The capital cost of 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 14 light rail vehicles. The project is estimated to carry 8,400 passengers per day in 2000 (opening year) and 22,000 passengers per day in 2015.


FTA issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the project 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, which committed $120 million in section 5309 new starts funding.

TEA-21 Section 3030(a)(24) authorized the Denver Southwest LRT for final design and construction. Through FY 2000, Congress has appropriated $98.46 million in Section 5309 New Start funds. An additional $1.34 million was provided in FY 1997 from reprogrammed funds for a total of $99.796 million made available to the project.

Construction is underway and is the project is on schedule to be completed in July 2000.

(Reported in $YOE)

Proposed Source of Funds

Total Funding ($million)

Appropriations to Date

  §5309 New Starts

FFGA Amount


($99.796 million made available through FY 2000)


($18 million in Flexible funds)
  RTD Sales and Use Tax and in-kind contributions





NOTE: Totals may not add due to rounding.

Southwest LRT (map)