Utility Construction in the RTD District

RTD owns, operates and maintains underground (UG) and overhead (OH) Utilities throughout the RTD District that are key to the safe operations of RTD’s transit systems. In addition to well-defined areas (between RTD tracks and inside RTD fenced properties), RTD Utilities run down and across many local streets and through non-RTD properties in multiple jurisdictions to feed the elements of our system. Many of RTD’s Utilities are dangerous to both RTD and the Contractor if damaged.

Safety is the top concern of RTD. RTD has installed signs and posts indicating general locations of RTD-owned Utilities. Always contact the RTD Utility Engineering group before any digging in the area of an RTD facility including Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), Commuter Rail Transit (CRT) corridors and RTD Park-and-Rides (PnR) and other RTD facilites. If you see an RTD corridor or facility, or an RTD sign or post in the area of your project, contact RTD first.

It is a good idea to coordinate with RTD Utility Engineering before finalizing your design. The location and height/depth of RTD facilities vary and can change significantly to rise above or drop below other Utilities in the area. RTD Utility locations may require you to change the location of your proposed Utility work.

It is the Contractor’s responsibility to determine the location of RTD UG facilities prior to construction and avoid damage, but RTD Utility Engineers will support your efforts to collect as much advanced information as possible.

Where are you working?

Rail Operations:
RTD has two separate rail groups that operate/maintain RTD Rail corridors (one group for LRT and another for CRT). Each group has different processes, required construction Notes to Contractors, division reviews, permit application forms, meetings, coordination timing, and safety training requirements prior to approving your work. Work around RTD’s BRT and PnR facilities require separate procedures. Check the Rail Map below to determine which Railroad(s) apply to your work (RTD LRT, RTD CRT, RTD Inactive Tracks, RTD Active by Lease to Other RR, BNSF, UPRR).

Click here for Rail Map

Bus Operations:
Coordinate your work with RTD to avoid/minimize impact to bus routes, bus stops, and PnR access. Even if your work is not near RTD ROW/Tracks/Facilities, it is possible your work may impact an RTD Bus Route. Contractors need to coordinate all work along Bus Routes and near Bus Stops and PnR entrances with RTD’s Bus Operations. Establishing temporary bus reroutes and temporary bus stops takes time to plan and implement. RTD Bus/Street Operations coordinates and prepares updates of bus routes and detours affected by disruption of services due to construction, special events, and emergencies. RTD works closely with law enforcement, jurisdictions, Public Works, and Municipalities to review construction design, traffic control plans, lane closures, and detours to minimize impacts to bus operations. Please direct all RTD Bus Operation questions to Gina.Callahan@rtd-denver.com or call 303-299-6926.

Steps to follow for Utility Construction in the RTD District

Click Steps to Expand

The RTD Utility Agreement Request process to cross RTD’s Right-of-Way (ROW), tracks (LRT and CRT), and facilities (BRT and PnR) with a Utility (OH and UG) begins and ends with RTD’s Real Property Division. Other RTD groups such as Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way (MOW) can be useful to guide you through the process, correct forms, and can assist you with pre-submittal over-the-shoulder reviews and final as-builts, but applying for and obtaining an executed Utility Agreement from RTD Real Property is your first official step in the process. Approval is not guaranteed and is not granted until an Executed Agreement is issued by RTD Real Property.  To start, submit the following information to RTD Real Property at 1560 Broadway, Suite 650, Denver, Colorado  80202 or email UtilityAgreement.Property@RTD-Denver.com.

  1. Email or letter explaining your request to enter or cross RTD ROW/Tracks with the subject heading ‘Official Request to Cross RTD Tracks/ROW/Facilities' and listing:
    a) Utility Owner Name
    b) Contact Name, Phone, Email
    c) Utility Size
    d) Utility Type (Communication, Electric, Gas, Sanitary, or Water),
    e) OH or UG (if Communication or Electric)
    f) Street Location (nearest streets North-South, and East-West)
    g) Nearest RTD Rail Corridor, PnR, Facility or Bus route

  2. Completed RTD Railroad Utility Agreement – Application Data Sheet (See Rail Map above):
    RTD RR UA – Application Data Sheet for LRT (PDF) (XLS)
    RTD RR UA – Application Data Sheet for CRT (PDF) (XLS)
    RTD RR UA – Application Data Sheet for All Other Locations (PDF) (XLS)

  3. Plan and profile showing Utility crossing of RTD tracks and right of way with the appropriate required RTD Notes to Contractors (See Rail Map above)
    Required RTD Construction Notes for LRT (PDF) (DOC)
    Required RTD Construction Notes for CRT (PDF) (DOC)
    Required RTD Construction Notes for INACTIVE (PDF) (DOC)
    Required RTD Construction Notes for ACTIVE by LEASE to OTHER RR (PDF) (DOC)

RTD Real Property will route your request package to several RTD groups for review. The review process can take time, so plan ahead. After all RTD departments complete their review and if/when your Agreement request has been Approved, RTD Real Property will begin writing your Agreement (this step can take 60-90 days).

RTD’s Engineering Division will be one of several RTD groups to review your Utility Agreement Request Package to make certain your design is sound, that it meets RTD required criteria, AREMA requirements (if crossing tracks), and that it includes the following:

  1. Completed RTD Railroad Utility Agreement – Application Data Sheet. (See Step 1 - Item 2 above)
  2. 'For Construction’ Plan and Profile design plans with the proper updated required RTD Notes to Contractor. (See Step I - Item 3 above)
  3. Include all applicable design elements as indicated on the Engineering Review Check-Off List. Engineering Division Review Check-Off List.
  4. If you are vacating or modifying a utility that crosses the RTD ROW or an RTD Facility, you must submit an RTD Request to Vacate or Modify Utility (Form 15-1).
  5. If you cannot meet the RTD criteria requirement and want to apply to RTD for a design variance, you must fill out the RTD Request for Design Variance (Form 7-1) and coordinate with RTD Utility Engineering staff to route it thru RTD for review. An approved Variance will be required before RTD Real Property will approve your Utility Agreement Request. RTD Request for Design Variance (Form 7-1)

To officially begin your request for a utility agreement, you only need to submit the three items listed under step 1 to RTD Real Property. However, to complete the Engineering Review Process outlined in Step II, you will need to submit additional information described in the five items listed above. You may submit the additional items directly to the Utility Engineering group during the Engineering Review process. If you have completed advance over-the-shoulder reviews with RTD Utility Engineering and have resolved all the design details, you can submit the additional requirements to begin Step I but the details reflected in all submitted items may need to change due to Engineering Review comments.

RTD Real Property will not proceed with a Utility License Agreement until, among other RTD group reviews, the Engineering Review process is completed and approved. The Engineering group will hold reviews if design violates criteria or if required information is missing until all corrections are made.

All workers with any potential of working near RTD tracks will be required to take and pass the appropriate RTD Railroad Safety Training class before being allowed near the tracks to do any work (including but not limited to: survey work, pothole work, mobilization, and any digging). RTD will not issue Access Permits until proof of the correct RR Safety Training has been obtained.

For LRT On Track Safety Training:
RTD Safety/Security (Mathew Cross) 303-299-3823
Mathew.Cross@rtd-denver.com


For CRT Safety Training:
RTDC-DTO Construction 720-460-5868
RTDC-DTO OCC Dispatch 720-460-5907
RWIC@RTDCrail.com

The Contractor and all workers will be required to take and pass all Railroad Safety Training classes that apply to the location of work. This includes BNSF and UPRR Railroad Safety Training if your work occurs near BNSF and/or UPRR ROW/Tracks.

BNSF Railroad Safety Training:
www.BNSFcontractor.com
Union Pacific Railroad Safety Training:
www.ContractorOrientation.com
Disclaimer: RTD is not responsible for BNSF or UPRR web links or requirements.

RTD MOW (LRT) and RTDC-DTO (CRT) will review the following requirements to make sure the Contractor has completed them before issuing an access Permit:

  1. Obtained an executed RTD Utility Agreement from RTD’s Real Property (pending Engineering and other group Review approvals).
  2. Successfully completed applicable RTD On-Track Safety Training (LRT or CRT).
  3. Submitted current and applicable Permit request form (LRT or CRT or FM).
  4. Attended applicable RTD MOW ROW Access Permit meeting (held weekly for LRT, and scheduled for CRT) to review work, schedule, and the need for flaggers.

Contractors may not begin construction until all 4 steps above have been completed and until the appropriate RTD Rail Operations group has issued an approved LRT or CRT Access Permit.

For Light Rail Crossings:
Email Light Rail related questions and completed updated Light Rail Access Permit Request forms to RailOpsPermits@rtd-denver.com, for Utility or any work in RTD ROW and/or crossing the RTD Light Rail Tracks (LRT).

For Commuter Rail Crossings:
Email Commuter Rail related questions and completed updated Commuter Rail Access Permit Requests forms to rwic@rtdcrail.com, for Utility or any work in RTD ROW and/or crossing the RTD Commuter Rail Tracks (CRT).

For RTD Facilities and PnRs:
If the proposed project impacts non-rail RTD facilities such as Park-and-Rides (PnR) you will need to submit a Building and Grounds Access Permit (BGAP) request to RTD Facility Maintenance (FM). Depending on the location and extent of your work, you many need to apply for both Rail Access Permit and a BGAP. If only non-rail RTD facilities are in the vicinity of the proposed work, then railroad safety training and Rail Ops pre-construction meetings will not be required (items 1 and 3 would always be required). Email Facilities related questions and completed Building and Grounds Access Permit Request form (BGAP) to BGAPpermits@rtd-denver.com, for Utility or any work in RTD ROW and/or crossing RTD Facilities or PnRs.

RTD-Owned ROW/Tracks – Either Inactive Tracks or Active Tracks by Other RR:
In addition to RTD (LRT and CRT) operated rail corridors, RTD owns railroad ROW and tracks that have no RTD train traffic. These rail corridors are not necessarily inactive, but can be active by lease to another railroad (BNSF or UPRR) with active train traffic. Regardless of the active/inactive status, RTD owns the property and all facilities on the property. You must begin your request for any and all work with RTD’s Real Property group following the same process as you would any other RTD owned/operated railroad corridor and continue with RTD Engineering Review. After RTD issues an approved executed Utility Agreement for your work, you will need to coordinate with RTD and with the operating railroad to determine further requirements (i.e. flaggers). RTD can help facilitate this coordination. All applicable railroad safety training applies.

For BNSF and UPRR Crossings:
If your work involves encroaching, entering, or crossing BNSF/UPRR owned or operated ROW or Tracks, you must also contact BNSF/UPRR for their utility agreement and permit procedures and requirements. If your work impacts RTD and BNSF/UPR, you will need to follow RTD’s procedures and BNSF/UPRR procedures before beginning work.
For BNSF Railroad website BNSF.com
For UP Railroad website UP.com
Disclaimer: RTD is not responsible for BNSF or UPRR web links or requirements.

Obtaining the proper Utility Agreement and Access Permit is not the end of the process. The Contractor is required to continue coordinating with RTD Engineering, RTD Construction, and the appropriate RTD Operations and Maintenance group (Facilities/LRT/CRT) several weeks before, during, and after construction. Contact information is provided in RTD required Notes to the Contractors (see link above). The Contractor will be required to meet all requirements established during the design review process and as dictated by the executed RTD Utility Agreement, and by the required RTD notes to the Contractor.

The process is not completed, and the RTD Utility Agreement is not finalized until required construction As-Built information is submitted to RTD that meets the required RTD format. The Utility owner/Contractor will be required to submit valid As-Builts in a timely manner outlined in the executed RTD Utility Agreement and in the RTD required Notes to the Contractor on the plans. RTD may require the Utility be removed if proper As-builts are not submitted to RTD Real Property and RTD Engineering. Your As-builts will become part of the final RTD Utility Agreement.