Sat. Sep 30th, 2023


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RTD works to fix R-Line crossings causing problems at Anschutz Campus

3 min read

The Regional Transportation District plans to suspend R-Line service at several stations in Aurora starting Friday as it grapples with network problems that have snarled traffic at crossings near the Anschutz Campus.

The emergency partial shutdown coincides with two planned RTD rail suspensions this weekend — on part of the A-Line Saturday and Sunday due to maintenance work and on the entire L-Line in downtown Denver starting Friday night, to accommodate for the Juneteenth Music Festival in Five Points.

The disruptions will affect Aurora riders and near-downtown residents as well as travelers trying to get to and from Denver International Airport on a busy holiday weekend.

The R-Line will be replaced by a bus shuttle service between the 13th Avenue and Peoria stations, with the train running normally south of 13th. On the A-Line, RTD plans to run shuttle buses between Peoria and DIA while it performs inspections and maintenance on the system’s overhead electrical wires; the A-Line will run normally between Peoria and downtown’s Union Station.

The L-Line shutdown, which runs from 10 p.m. Friday through the end of the day Sunday, won’t include shuttle buses. RTD says riders can use the Route 43 bus as an alternative.

RTD said in a news release Thursday that along the R-Line, its crews have been working since early June to repair “network communications issues” affecting several crossings in Aurora. The emergency work prompted the recent suspension of a major maintenance project on the southeast light-rail corridor, along Interstate 25, as the agency has diverted resources to fix the Aurora crossing problems.

Leaders of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have complained to RTD about malfunctioning traffic lights at the East 17th Place crossing, which they say has been stuck in a flashing red setting for weeks.

The problem has delayed not only students and staff members but also emergency vehicles headed to several hospitals, according to an email sent to RTD officials this week.

As repairs continue, RTD says it will provide bus shuttles linking the 13th Avenue Station to the Colfax, Fitzsimons and Peoria stations at the north end of the R-Line. Shuttles are expected to stop at or near the stations every 30 minutes or so.

The agency said regular R-Line service would resume once crews finish the repairs, but it didn’t specify a timeline.

“RTD recognizes the significant impact of this work, as well as its occurrence alongside other service disruptions due to ongoing maintenance projects,” the agency’s release says. “RTD thanks customers for their patience.”

RTD’s work on the southeast light rail project is expected to resume Tuesday, the news release says. That project, which is expected to run through October, includes the inspection and repair of panels atop the retaining wall next to the tracks used by the overlapping E, H and R lines.

It has resulted in E and H trains running half as frequently as normal, along with service delays that have frustrated riders. The project also resulted in the suspension of the R-Line south of the Florida Station, though this week the R-Line was running as far south as the south-metro Lincoln Station while work was paused.

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