Utility Construction in the RTD District

RTD Utility Agreement Request (UAR) and Utility License Agreement (ULA) FEES:

Beginning October 1st 2019, all Utility Agreement Request (UAR) Packages sent to RTD will require a None-Refundable NEW UAR Fee of $1,500. This UAR Fee covers:

  • RTD As-Built Record Research
  • RTD Design Review
  • RTD Construction Oversite

After you submit your UAR Package, including Application Data Sheet (ADS) and Plans with Plan/Profile (PP), via email (to [email protected]), RTD Utility Engineering will assign your PROJECT UAR # and will start your PROJECT FILE. However, review of your request will not begin until RTD receives your UAR Fee payment (see mailing instructions below).

If you make design or construction changes after RTD staff has completed your review and approved your design, there will be a required REVISED UAR Fee of $750, and all work must stop until RTD reviews and approves the changes.

If you request a major change that requires RTD staff begin design review from the beginning (for example: complete change in project location or substantial changes during construction) RTD will consider this a NEW UAR which will require a NEW UAR Fee of $1,500.

Changes required by RTD during or after RTD design review will not cost an additional fee.

RTD Utility Agreement Request and Utility License Agreement Fee Schedule (2019):

  • $1,500 NEW UAR Fee: for Research, Design Review, Construction Oversite
  • $750 REVISED UAR Fee: for changes by Utility Owner, not required by RTD
  • $3,500 ULA Payment: for Use/Occupancy Rights, Own/Maintain Utility on RTD ROW

These Fees do NOT include Fees for Safety Training, Access Permits, or Railroad Flaggers.

RTD is working on an electronic payment interface. RTD will update this section of our website accordingly when the interface is set up. Until that time, continue mailing checks to RTD as follows to make sure your payment is quickly and correctly applied to your project:

Mail NEW UAR and REVISED UAR Fees to:

RTD Utility Engineering
1560 Broadway Street, Suite 700
Denver, CO 80202
[Do not mail until RTD Utility Engineering Assigns your UAR #.]
[Make sure the UAR # is written on your Check.]

Mail ULA Payments to:

RTD Real Property
1560 Broadway Street, Suite 650
Denver, CO 80202
[Do not mail until directed by RTD Real Property.]
[Make sure the UAR # is written on your Check.]

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 RTD and the contractor if damaged. If, and only if, you hit or damage RTD facilities (i.e., OH, UG, or surface) while working call RTD Emergency Dispatch at 303-299-2911. See below for non-emergency utility locates.

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 digging in the area of an RTD facility including Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT), Commuter Rail Transit (CRT) corridors, RTD Park-and-Rides (PnR), and other RTD facilites. Contact RTD first If you see an RTD corridor, facility, sign, or post in the area of your project.

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.

Always call UNCC x811 and RTD Utility Engineering before you dig in the vicinity of RTD facilities. Though it is the Contractor’s responsibility to determine the location of RTD UG utilities prior to construction and avoid damage, RTD utility engineers will support your efforts to collect as much advanced information as possible. If you need RTD to paint locates so that you can dig safely (non-emergency utility locates) email the Utility group or call the Utility Construction Phone Line and leave the necessary information for your utility locate request.

Ask ALL questions of RTD Utility Engineering before you dig and after you have read all sections on this page.

Email: [email protected]

Utility Construction Phone Line: 303-299-2811

Utility engineering staff is here to assist you with your utility construction-related application, design, and construction questions.

Call UNCC (811) for Locates BEFORE you DIG.

Plan Ahead – RTD Review Process can take several months to complete and approval is NOT Guaranteed.

Where Are You Working?

Rail Operations

RTD has two 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 (i.e., RTD LRT, RTD CRT, RTD Inactive Tracks, RTD Active by Lease to Other RR, BNSF, and/or UPRR).

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, or facilities, it is possible your work may impact an RTD bus route. Contractors need to coordinate With RTD's Bus Operations all work along bus routes and near bus stops and PnR entrances. 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 departments, 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 [email protected] or call 303-299-6928.

In order to do any Utility construction work in the RTD District where a new proposed Utility enters or crosses RTD ROW, RTD Tracks, RTD Facilities, you must begin with the RTD Utility Agreement Request Process.

Steps to Follow for Utility Construction in the RTD District

Step 0: Preliminary Utility Design Review (before you begin the official process)

All utility construction requests MUST start with preliminary utility Design Reviews by RTD Utility Engineering. Only after RTD Utility Engineering has reviewed your design and after you have made all preliminary design review corrections, will RTD Utility Engineering give you the green light to officially submit to RTD’s Real Property.

Submit Preliminary Utility Designs to: 
[email protected] (303-299-2811)
 RTD’s Utility Engineering staff will do preliminary reviews of utility designs near, on, or across all RTD facilities (i.e., LRT, CRT, Bus, PnRs).

Step 1: Submit Official Utility Agreement Request Package to RTD Real Property

The official 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 Real Property Division only after you have completed a Preliminary Utility Design Review with RTD’s Utility Engineering. Other RTD groups such as Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way (MOW) will be involved in the official review process and can assist you with design, permit forms, and construction questions, 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, 1560 Broadway, Suite 650, Denver, Colorado, 80202 or email [email protected].

  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:
    1. Utility Owner Name
    2. Contact Name, Phone, Email
    3. Utility Size
    4. Utility Type (Communication, Electric, Gas, Sanitary, or Water)
    5. OH or UG (if Communication or Electric)
    6. Street Location (nearest streets North-South, and East-West)
    7. Nearest RTD Rail Corridor, PnR, Facility or Bus route
  2. Completed RTD Railroad Utility Agreement – Application Data Sheet (See Rail Map above)

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)

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).

Step 2: Engineering Review Process

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 I - 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.
  4. If you are vacating or modifying a utility that crosses the RTD ROW or an RTD Facility, you must submit a 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.

To officially begin your request for a utility agreement, you only need to submit the three items listed under Step I 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 Preliminary Engineering Review process (Step 0). Depending on the level of design you submitted in Step 0, details reflected in your submittal items, and the item requirements themselves may need to change due to official 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.

Step 3: Obtaining the Proper Railroad Safety Training for your Utility Work

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.

Step 4: Apply for the Proper RTD (LRT/CRT-NM/CRT-EAGLE/BGAP) Entry Permits

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 railroad track safety training (LRT or CRT).
  3. Submitted current and applicable Permit request form (LRT or CRT or FM).
  4. Attended applicable RTD Track ROW access permit meeting (held weekly for LRT, and weekly 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 [email protected], for Utility or any work in RTD ROW and/or crossing the RTD Light Rail Tracks (LRT).

For Commuter Rail Crossings of the North Metro Rail Corridor:

Email Commuter Rail questions related to the North Metro Rail Corridor and requests for a North Metro Access Permit to [email protected], for Utility or any work in the RTD ROW and/or crossing the RTD NM Commuter Rail Tracks (CRT-NM).

See the RTD CRT (COMMUTER-RAIL-TRACKS) ACCESS POLICY section of RTD’s ROW-AGREEMENTS-PERMITS webpage for important permit information for the NM rail corridor.

For Commuter Rail Crossings of the EAGLE Rail Corridors:

Email Commuter Rail questions related to the EAGLE Rail corridors and completed updated RTDC-DTO Commuter Rail access permit request forms to: [email protected] or [email protected] for Utility or any work in RTD ROW and/or crossing the RTD EAGLE corridor Commuter Rail Tracks (CRT-EAGLE).

For RTD Facilities and PnRs:

If the proposed project impacts non-rail RTD facilities such as Park-and-Rides (PnRs) 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 BGAP request form to [email protected], for utility or any work in RTD ROW and/or crossing RTD Facilities or PnRs.

RTD Facilities and PnRs Documents

  1. BGAP2024

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 (e.g., 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.

BNSF Railroad website: BNSF.com

UP Railroad website: UP.com

Disclaimer: RTD is not responsible for BNSF or UPRR web links or requirements.

Step 5: Coordinate Construction

Contractors may not begin work until RTD has issued a Pre-Construction Resolution Record (PCRR). A PCRR will be completed, signed, and issued by RTD’s Utility Engineering/Construction team (for LRT) and by RTDC-DTO’s representative (for CRT) during the utility pre-construction meeting and must be kept on-site at all times during construction.

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 above Step 1, item 3). 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.

Step 6: As-Builts and Finalizing the Utility Agreement Process

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.

Plan Ahead!

The RTD Review, License, and Permit Process can take several months to complete and approval at each step is not guaranteed. RTD receives many requests like your each month and we do NOT have an expedited-process option. The more specific and complete your request package, the quicker we can begin your application process. RTD staff is here to help you understand these procedures but it is your responsibility to follow each step through.

If you have any other engineering design or construction questions regarding work in the RTD district please visit our Construction Engineering page.