RTD delays opening of G and R lines

DENVER -- Two of the five major transit projects RTD planned for 2016, will not open this year.

The G Line from Union Station to Wheat Ridge, and the R Line from Parker Road to I-70 through Aurora will have to wait until next year.

“We were the only transit agency that was ever attempting to open five major transit projects in one year so we knew it was a pretty herculean-task and there were potential issues that could come up to impact that,” RTD’s Assistant General Manager of Communications Scott Reed said.

The G Line, which was supposed to open this fall, will connect Wheat Ridge to downtown Denver while passing through Arvada, Adams County and Denver. The line is part of the public-private partnership project that includes the A Line to the airport.

“We have to do a certain amount of testing to fully open that line and we just don’t have enough time to complete all of those elements and get the testing in,” Reed said.

The G Line will is a commuter rail line, just like the A Line so it is governed by the Federal Railroad Administration.

The FRA has told RTD that it won’t allow testing until problems with the crossing gates on both the A and B Lines are fixed.

“The crossing gates are coming down slightly too early and staying down slightly too long when the train goes through that intersection,” Reed said. “So that needs to be addressed before we can complete the testing.”

The R Line is a light rail line, passing through Aurora and Denver, between Parker Road and I-70. Its opening date was set for winter of 2016.

A timetable for completion of the new projects is still up in the air. RTD says there is no certainty how long it will take to fix the issues after testing begins.