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RTD will suspend some light rail service downtown through last quarter of 2024

The move is part of the district’s multi-phased project focusing on oldest segments of rail system
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Posted at 11:32 AM, Feb 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-28 19:37:16-05

DENVER – Denverites commuting downtown this year will need to find other ways to get to where they’re going beginning in late spring as RTD plans to suspend or reroute several light rail trains due to a multi-phased reconstruction project.

Beginning May 26, all D and H line trains will be rerouted to Denver Union Station, and the L Line service, which connects the 30th/Downing Station to the Downtown Loop, will be suspended, a spokesperson said in a news release Wednesday.

No light rail service will operate in RTD’s central corridor through September 2024, the spokesperson added.

“After nearly 30 years of continual service, several segments of track along the 5.3-mile (Downtown Loop) corridor, which extends between I-25/Broadway and 30th/Downing stations, require a full-depth reconstruction,” the spokesperson said. The process will involve removing all current rail infrastructure, concrete, ties and ballasts. Crews will also address drains below the 30-year-old rail system before fully rebuilding each segment.

The at-grade rail and street intersections that will be reconstructed in the project’s first phase are 15th and Stout Street, 17th and Stout Street, 15th and California Street, 17th and California Street, and Broadway and Welton Street.

RTD said those five impacted intersections will not be reconstructed at the same time. Officials are now working with the city to discuss potential street closures and develop traffic detour plans, which could include merging traffic to one lane or rerouting around intersections for limited periods of time.

RTD’s bus routes that operate along 15th and 17th streets may also be temporarily impacted during the reconstruction project, but the agency is working to limit any detours in the downtown area, the spokesperson said.

RTD will suspend some light rail service downtown through last quarter of 2024

There is a silver lining to the potential traffic headache for commuters, however.

“With light rail trains rerouting to Denver Union Station, RTD is planning to temporarily reintroduce its Free MetroRide Service, which operates along 18th and 19th Streets,” the spokesperson said.

After completion of this first multi-phased project, RTD will pause reconstruction work until 2025 and all light rail services will resume normal operations.

The other three phases include: Midblock reconstruction in the Downtown Loop, Colfax Avenue Alignment Reconstruction, Welton Street Corridor. Anyone wishing to see projected timelines for the next phases of the project can head here.

“Maintaining RTD’s assets and infrastructure is essential to preserving the region’s previous investments in its mass transportation system,” said Debra A. Johnson, RTD General Manager and Chief Executive Officer. “Managing and maintaining assets in a state of good repair ensures the long-term integrity of the rail network for all individuals who entrust RTD to deliver them to their destinations.”

Ahead of the project, RTD is encouraging riders to sign up for Service Alerts.

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