North Metro Rail Line

Location: Denver, CO USA

The North Metro Rail Line involved design and construction of a 19.3-kilometre commuter rail line from Denver Union Station (DUS) in downtown Denver to 124th Avenue Station in Northglenn. The project scope involved 10 structures, six new stations, and 12 at-grade crossings. Double passing tracks with special trackwork are integrated at all stations, with passing track sections installed throughout the alignment. Station design and construction were subject to a technical working group ensuring full consideration was discussed for innovation, urban integration, risk management and schedule planning. The alignment of the new line proceeds north and spans Commerce City on a 2,896-metre direct fixation elevated guideway – the North Metro Skyway – one of the aforementioned 10 structures for this project.

When complete, the North Metro Skyway will be the longest bridge in Colorado. The new project infrastructure interfaces with the DUS throat in downtown Colorado – a heavily congested rail nexus serving the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), Amtrak, and other RTD commuter and light rail lines converging at DUS. In addition to these adjacent rail interface stakeholders, the project crosses various jurisdictions and, as such, involved numerous municipal, utilities and other stakeholders, including: City of Thornton, City of Northglenn, Commerce City, City and County of Denver, South Adams County, Sewer and Water District, Adams County, Farmers Reservoir and Irrigation Company, Denver Water, Lower Clear Creek Ditch Company, Colorado Department of Transportation, Eastlake Water Company, Bambei Walker Reservoir, and Suncor Energy.

Adding to the project complexity, the head end of the North Metro Rail Line is tied into the Eagle P3 Project, a separate commuter rail line project that was also under construction at the DUS throat and began testing in February 2015 and revenue service in 2016. In order to manage this interface and prevent interruptions to the Eagle P3 project’s testing and revenue service, and to facilitate the initial integration of the lines, the design and construction of the North Metro Rail Line head end was required and delivered successfully within one year of Notice to Proceed. Graham implemented site-specific Construction Mitigation Plans to reduce and mitigate impacts to the environment, traveling public, local businesses, and residences. These plans include specific measures to control noise and dust, procedures for fencing and screening material staging areas, construction ingress/egress, and preserving access to existing businesses and residences. These plans were coordinated with RTD and project stakeholders at regular coordination meetings. Closures, detours, and alternate routes were identified by distributing construction messaging fliers, distributing project e-newsletters, news releases, fact sheets, and writing and distributing traffic releases to local media outlets, and submitting weekly Colorado Department of Transportation Lane Closure reports.

Contract Value

$978.7M USD Capital Cost

Prime Consultant

Project Owner

Regional Transportation District

Contract Format


Completion Date

January 2020

Contract Duration

61 months