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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Denver RTD considers ways to handle skyrocketing FasTracks costs

During the next month, the Regional Transportation District of Denver (RTD) will host a series of pubic meetings to gather input on options for advancing the FasTracks expansion program.

Costs for the project — which calls for building 119 miles of light- and commuter-rail lines and 57 stations — are skyrocketing because of rising steel, copper, concrete and fuel prices. Total project costs could reach $7.9 billion by the projected 2017 completion date if those prices continue to rise, RTD said. The project originally was estimated to cost $4.7 billion.

RTD also is dealing with slumping sales tax revenues. In November 2004, voters in the eight-county Denver metropolitan area approved a four-tenths-cent sales tax to fund the program.

During the meetings, RTD officials first will provide an overview of the FasTracks project and review options for completing the program. Attendees then will be given an opportunity to provide feedback.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/18/2008