The West Rail Line’s opening date of April 26 is fast approaching, and RTD is celebrating the end of construction with a lighting ceremony of the …
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The West Rail Line’s opening date of April 26 is fast approaching, and RTD is celebrating the end of construction with a lighting ceremony of the 6th Avenue Bridge.
The ceremony will be Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the bridge, with a reception and comments by Regional Transportation District General Manger Phil Washington at the Lakewood Fordland, 11595 W. 6th Ave.
“The event is marking RTD’s completion of the West Rail Line, and once we turn the lights on that night, they will be illuminated every night from then on,” said Kathy Berumen, public information manager of the Denver Transit Construction Group.
According to information provided by RTD, the 6th Avenue Bridge was designed by David Evans and Associates and built by Denver Transit Construction Group’s subcontractor Edward Kraemer and Sons.
It will be lit by LED lights that are attached to the 44 cables that span the bridge.
According to project manager for the West Rail Line, Jim Starling, the construction of the bridge was a very unique process that began in late 2009. It was fully constructed at the manufacturer’s site in Oregon and then taken apart and driven to Colorado in 34 truck shipments.
“The bridge was rolled across 6th Avenue and into place on May 1, 2010, which meant that all lanes of 6th Avenue were closed for the process,” Starling said. “(Colorado Department of Transportation) doesn’t normally close whole sections like that.”
The bridge contains around 1.2 million pounds of structural steel, and carries two light rail tracks. The structure supporting the span contains 10,686 cubic feet of concrete and weighs 1.6 million pounds.
Starling also noted that the bridge was built using “weathering steel” which naturally rusts to a dark purple-brown color and forms a protective oxide coating, which cuts out the need to paint it.
Now that construction is completed, integrated testing will start on the line on Jan. 3, which Starling said should last around two months. From there the project will begin operational testing to train conductors and set the schedule.
For more information on the West Rail Line, visit www.rtd-fastracks.com/wc_1.
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