The Lone Tree City Council has voted to approve Site Improvement Plans for the Regional Transportation District's extension of the E Line light rail south of Lincoln Station. The vote took place at the April 19 council meeting, and approval of the …
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The Lone Tree City Council has voted to approve Site Improvement Plans for the Regional Transportation District's extension of the E Line light rail south of Lincoln Station. The vote took place at the April 19 council meeting, and approval of the designs for three stations along a 2.3-mile expansion is one more step in a process that should allow RTD to begin construction this spring.
The city council's approval of the stations at Sky Ridge, City Center and RidgeGate were conditional, and final approval of the designs and landscape is subject approval of the city's public works department.
In general, the council praised the designs of the three new light rail stations and unanimously voted in favor of the plans, though District 2 Councilmember Susan Squyer did express concerns about the distance from the “Kiss and Ride” passenger drop-off zone to the ADA-compliant ramp. She also noted the potential for drivers to stop to drop off passengers in through lanes of traffic on Sky Ridge Drive.
“Based on the size of the site and the configuration of the setting, we really could not get ramps to work in this area,” said Lee Kellar with Parsons Brinkerhoff, referring to the stairs adjacent to the Kiss and Ride. “The 650 feet … sounds like a long way, but compared to other stations that RTD has in the system, it's probably average.”
Kellar said that the steep grade in the section close to the “Kiss and Ride” would have made a ramp adjacent to the stairs too steep to comply with ADA requirements. He also said that future development on the east side of the station, whether formal or informal drop-off points, would be on grade and more conducive for wheelchair drop-off when completed.
The City of Lone Tree, the Rampart Range Metropolitan District and Douglas County have each pledged $7.3 million along with the Southeast Public Improvement Metropolitan District, who kicked in $3.0 million for a total contribution of around $25 million.
The light rail extension from Lincoln Station to the end of-the-line station at RidgeGate Parkway and Havana Street was approved by Colorado voters in 2004 as part of RTD's FasTracks Program. When completed, the rails will connect service from Lone Tree to Denver International Airport and as far north as Boulder.
Construction is expected to be completed in 2019, and according to RTD, the total estimated cost is $207 million, or around $90 million per mile.
Parsons Brinkerhoff is a global professional services firm with 500 offices in 39 countries. The firm specializes in buildings, environment, industrial and energy, as well as transportation and infrastructure.
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