Skip to content
 

I-225 Corridor Approved!

The RTD Board of Directors have formally approved a proposal from Kiewit Infrastructure Company to complete the I-225 Corridor through Aurora. The $350 million (fixed price) proposal from Kiewit would complete the entire light rail corridor from the future Iliff Station to the Peoria/Smith Station by November 2015.  RTD would then conduct roughly six months of tests before opening the line in mid-2016, roughly the same time as the East Rail Line to DIA.

In March, Kiewit submitted what is known as an “unsolicited bid,” essentially approaching RTD with a proposal. RTD evaluated the proposal and deemed it had merit after considering financial information presented by Kiewit. RTD then reviewed a competing bid from a Balfour Beatty/Ames joint venture following a competitive procurement process. Kiewit’s bid proposed building the entire corridor while the Balfour Beatty/Ames joint venture did not.

Kiewit’s proposal team includes Mass Electric Company (electrical), AECOM (engineering/design), and RBC Capital Markets (financing). RTD and Kiewit will now work to finalize contract negotiations and look to start design work on the corridor in a few months. Construction would most likely start sometime next year. Exact terms of the contract and a more definitive schedule may not be known until after the negotiations are complete.

The I-225 Corridor connects the Southeast Corridor to the Aurora City Center, Anschutz Medical Campus (upwards of 30,000 employees at full build-out), and the East Rail Line (and DIA connection). The news is great for transportation in and around Aurora and is a bit of good news for a city that deserves some.

Share This Post


8 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    I’m not too sure about how this ended up happening, but I’m really glad it did. From my outsider perspective, it sure looks like Kiewit flew on to the scene at the last moment, surprising everybody, and basically saved the I-225 Corridor for entirely altruistic reasons. Is that actually what happened?

    If so, then this is an incredible boon for the Denver Metro. If not, and this is works out and is profitable for both Kiewit and RTD, then RTD should immediately embark on similar 3P initiatives for the Boulder/Longmont line and the North Metro Thornton line that isn’t even publically discussed anymore.

    I’m still a strong FasTracks supporter; I’ll support whatever it takes, even a tax increase, to get it built out in a timely manner.

  2. ginty says:

    The planned Aurora City Center stop is right at the Century Cinema site. I hope they raze that building.

  3. Aaron Rever says:

    I have a feeling it will likely be razed, ginty. Then again, they kept the areas of Columbine High School, so who knows?

  4. CN says:

    It seems that a movie multiplex is desirable near a mass-transit station, i.e., it might allow for some of the parking lot to be turned into something more useful, bring people in from all around, etc. The planners in Olde Town Arvada certainly realize this. I’m not sure what you’d have built in its place, but the knee-jerk reaction to raze it should at least be deliberated.

  5. ginty says:

    I realize in a year there won’t be as strong an emotion to these events. I’ve thought of Columbine remaining open and I also remember the Chucky Cheese murders from years back. That location shut down; who wants to take their kids to that location. I would say the same about the Aurora Cinema.

    I agree CN that a multiplex is desirable; not only Arvada, but the Colorado Center area does well. How about a new one in a different location? I suppose if the business does well it will remain open. I would avoid seeing a film there.

    I will admit that after I posted my initial response, I did think about deleting it, but didn’t see how. I thought my response was based too much on emotion.

    What ever happens, the connection from Nine-Mile to the East rail will be great to see.

  6. RH says:

    Since the Aurora City Center stop will be in the proposed new “Downtown Aurora” maybe they should build a NEW multiplex in that area (with added safety features) – as a part of the new “Downtown” area – and raze the current theater site to turn that area into a memorial park or something similar. Just a thought.

    Regardless, on the rail story itself… Great news for the region as it completes an important line connecting the tech center with DIA and also provides access to major employers (i.e Fitz). It also completes the line at less cost then RTD’s original figures and perhaps opens future funding sooner for the North area lines (as they won’t have to compete with funds to build this line anymore).

    Hopefully RTD will continue to think “outside the box” with others to get ALL the lines finished sooner rather then later.

  7. Jacqueline M Thurmond says:

    Wish I was there to see the actual completion. In Orlando, construction is finally beginning on our Fastracks light rail, and construction is beginning on the Wekiva Parkway which is the NW freeway connector to finally complete the Orlando freeway loop system. Because R-Gov. Rick Scott withheld receiving governmental funds for so long, it significantly delayed all infrastructure.

  8. Ted says:

    While calls to demolish the cinema in the short term without any real re-development plan may indeed be a knee-jerk reaction to the shootings, if we are being honest about ideal urban design immediately adjacent to a light rail station, the cinema really SHOULD be razed eventually. While I admire the creative thinking that says the parking lots may one day be developed, the realist in me says that this may never be realistic given the way the site is currently laid out.

    This is the unfortunate reality of suburban retail design; it is hopelessly, and for all intents and purposes, irreversibly tied to it’s parking and service access layout. If I remember correctly, the back side of the theater faces the light-rail station with a small strip of parking and service access, but this is not enough land to accommodate any real development. The tilted position of the building on the site also would make it difficult (not impossible, but complicated and probably expensive) to effectively structure the remaining parking spaces AND provide buildable parcels on the remaining land. In the long run, if the landowner ever actually wanted to sell the land for redevelopment and keep operating a movie theater on the site, it would probably make more sense to just raze the thing and build a new theater in a dense “town center”; and that would be true even if the shooting had never happened.

    It is for this reason that I admire what has been built at Northfield Stapleton and Belmar. Even though looked down upon by many urban enthusiasts, these developments have been planned in anticipation of future construction and densification without the need to raze the existing buildings or radically alter the original site plan.