RTD board votes to move forward with $207 million light rail extension in Douglas County

LONE TREE, Colo. - Board members of the Regional Transportation District voted Tuesday to move forward with a $207 million extension of the existing Southeast Light Rail Line in Douglas County.

City of Lone Tree spokeswoman Kristen Knoll said in a news release that the decision followed a funding commitment from the City of Lone Tree, Douglas County, RidgeGate and the Denver South Transportation Management Authority. Those partners committed to $35 million to $40 million in cash contributions.

Additionally, the property owner of RidgeGate development, Coventry Development, agreed to provide the land for right-of-way and light rail stations at no cost.

Another $66 million for the project will come from RTD, but the remaining funds are anticipated to come from a federal grant. Tuesday's vote allows the project to move forward with the application for that federal money.

The proposed extension will stretch 2.2 miles south from the current Lincoln Station, adding three new stops. Knoll's announcement says the project will bring a $700 million increase in assessed property values to the area.

"The high-quality jobs that light rail attracts will result in higher property values for Lone Tree residents," Lone Tree Mayor Jim Gunning said in a statement provided by Knoll. "We also expect lower traffic volumes for a new development of this size due to the increased use of transit."

Voters originally approved the Southeast Extension as part of FasTracks in 2004. Knoll said that without the anticipated federal grant and the local contribution, completion of the project would be unlikely before 2035. 

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