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.