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After years of delays, still no end in sight for the G-line testing

Posted at 12:28 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 20:40:01-04

ARVADA-- Friday marks two years since the G-line was supposed to open its doors to the first passengers. For now though, the testing is still ongoing and RTD says it doesn’t know when the line will finally be finished.

RTD and the contractor it hired to build the G-line have experienced one setback after another as testing drags on and the two groups struggle to earn federal and local approval from regulators.

Many of the problems stem back to the technology used to operate the crossing gates for these trains. That technology has never been used for a commuter rail line before and officials were hoping Denver would set a precedent for others to follow in the future.

However, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and federal regulators have expressed numerous concerns with how that technology operates. The major question was over the timing of the crossing gate arms; some of the arms were coming down too early or too late while others were staying down too long after the train passed by.

Denver Transit Partners and RTD have been working for years to quell those concerns, but up to this point, they have not been able to get final approval.

Because of that, the trains are still blaring their horns at each crossing they pass and flaggers are still required to stand at several crossings that are close to intersections.

Adding to the problems, RTD and DTP are now in a legal battle over who should pay for the delays and the flaggers still standing at those crossing gates.

Both RTD and DTP insist that the lawsuit won’t affect their work on the G-line. However, neither has a clear timetable for when this line will be finished.

While that testing continues, people who live around the G-line are left waiting for answers.

“I want this done as soon as possible for people like me and the people that live in Arvada don’t want to go downtown I don’t want to pay for parking,” said Arvada resident Sage Watashe. “The downtown area is so overcrowded; parking is crazy expensive.”

Watashe says if it’s a matter of safety he’s willing to wait even longer before the G-line is finished.

“I have no idea when it will be opened and what they had to go through to go and open the line,” Watashe said.

He, and many others in Arvada, just want to know whether there’s an end in sight.