Metro Denver's multi-modal T-REX takes last step
$1.67 billion project completed under budget and two years ahead of schedule
The long-awaited T-REX Project (Transportation Expansion Project) opened in November 2006. Construction began in 2001 and completed under budget and nearly two years ahead of schedule.
The T-REX project added 19 miles of light rail, bridges for pedestrian access and smoother highway merging, and improved 17 miles of highway through southeast Denver, Aurora, Greenwood Village, Centennial, and Lone Tree. The project is the result of a unique collaboration between the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Regional Transportation District (RTD).
Seventeen miles of highway were widened, spanning up to five lanes in each direction at its widest point near the Denver Tech Center. The expansion was built to accommodate 300,000 vehicles per day - much greater than the 207,000 before the project began.
Multi-agency cooperation, strong endorsement from Colorado and Metro Denver citizens, and the unique “design-build“ concept make T-REX an example for other metropolitan areas. Design-build allowed the design and construction to occur simultaneously, resulting in cost/time savings and innovation.
At the T-REX Completion Ceremony held November 16, Federal Highway and Transit officials praised Metro Denver for T-REX’s success.
“Denver, you are on the cutting edge of mobility in the 21st century and you will reap the benefits for years to come. T-REX is the next generation of highway/transit construction. It is a model for other cities in this nation to follow,” said James Simpson, Federal Transit Administration Administrator.
Richard Capka, head of the Federal Highway Administration, added, “On the T-REX Project, CDOT and RTD formed and created an effective partnership that required teamwork at every level. Colorado is ahead of the curve nationally when it comes to innovative solutions for congestion relief.”
Each new lane-mile of highway cost $19.3 million, versus the $27.6 million per track-mile of light rail. Approximately 6.9 million pounds of structural steel was used in the project, 30 percent of which comes from steel retrieved from the demolition of Mile High Stadium. Over 830,000 cubic yards of concrete and 865,000 tons of asphalt also layer the expansion.
Southeast Light Rail links Metro Denver's two largest employment centers--the Central Business District (downtown Denver) and the Denver Tech Center. It consists of four new light rail lines that provide service along the west side of I-25 from Lincoln Avenue to the existing I-25 & Broadway light rail station, and along the center of I-225 from the I-25/I-225 interchange to Parker Road in Aurora.
In addition to the new light rail lines, RTD added new bus routes, revised some existing routes, and introduced six new call-n-Rides to better serve customers in the Southeast area. An expected 33,800 riders a day will use Southeast Light rail within a year, increasing to 38,100 a day by 2020.
The four Southeast Light Rail lines — E, F, G, and H — will connect to RTD's existing C and D lines at the I-25 & Broadway station, extending service to Downtown Denver, Lower Downtown Denver (LoDo), Englewood, and Littleton.
Features also include an innovative 'art-n-Transit' public art exhibit along the newly built lines. The plan is to help provide a connection between neighborhoods and transit, adding value and cultural diversity to the transit system and the community as a whole. Officials hope the art will discourage vandalism and graffiti.
New light rail heads on down the tracks - Rocky Mountain News
Thousands ride the rails - Denver Post