The private developers of the Denver Eagle commuter rail system are still struggling to gain final approvals for their $2.1-billion, 36-year DBFOM project so they can begin receiving availability payments and calm anxious bondholders.
Civil works under the $1.3-billion design-build contract are complete. On the advice of its independent engineer, Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RDT) has accepted (but not yet safety certified) two of the three Eagle lines, both of which have been operating accident-free since last summer.
However, lingering concerns about variances in warning times at gated crossings have not been resolved to the satisfaction of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Colorado Public Utility Commission (CPUC). Neither likes the performance of the private developer’s crossing gate software nor wants to take the lead in certifying, or not certifying, the largest rail P3 in the U.S.