Downtown Rail Reconstruction Project

After nearly 30 years, RTD is investing in its oldest rail infrastructure to ensure the long-term integrity of the network. Light rail service began in Denver on October 7, 1994, with 5.3 miles of track connecting 30th Avenue and Downing Street to Interstate 25 and Broadway. Much of today’s downtown track infrastructure, commonly referred to as the Downtown Loop, has been in place since the line was first constructed. This section of track has expanded over the years to now serve 10 rail stations on the D, H and L lines, with street-level trains operating adjacent to pedestrians and vehicular traffic.

RTD is doing a full-depth reconstruction of this section of rail to improve safety and mobility, address deteriorating transit infrastructure and extend the design life of the agency’s key transportation assets.

Project Overview

The near-term work will occur in four phases, with the first phase commencing in June 2024, focusing on track at five key intersections in the Downtown Loop. Phases two through four of the approximately $152 million-dollar, full-depth reconstruction project will occur in 2025.

This major reconstruction project is the first of its kind in RTD’s history. Between 2012 and 2023, RTD undertook 17 isolated projects in the central corridor to replace sections of curved rail, switches, crossings, signals and other rail infrastructure. The near-term project will leverage previous work done by RTD with time-specific closures to minimize the inconvenience to customers.

Current Roadway Impacts:

  • Work on 15th Street at Stout and California streets began on July 15 and is expected to last approximately three weeks, ending in early August.
    • 15th Street is closed in the following locations:
      • Between California Street and the alley to the east
      • Between Stout Street and the alley to the west
    • Welton is operating as a one-way street with two northbound lanes between 15th and 17th Streets to accommodate the additional traffic
    • One lane remains open on both Stout and California streets between 14th and 16th streets
    • Sidewalks and crosswalks are closed on the east side of California Street and the west side of Stout Street
    • Alley, parking lot, loading dock and parking structure access remains open
    • All business access remains open
  • All construction activities are schedule and weather-dependent and subject to change

Downtown Rail Reconstruction Project: 15th Street Closure Bus Detours

See the 15th Street Detour Here

June to September 2024

Phase I Overview

Five at-grade rail and street intersections will be reconstructed in the project’s first phase, located at Broadway and Welton, 15th and Stout, 15th and California, 17th and Stout, and 17th and California. The five impacted intersections will not be reconstructed simultaneously. Instead, RTD will conduct the work in a manner that accounts for impacts to street traffic and has been closely working with the City and County of Denver to discuss potential street closures and develop traffic detour plans. During the project, vehicular traffic in the area may be merged to one lane or rerouted around the intersections for limited periods of time.

This project is separate from the Coping Panels Project, but both rail projects are being scheduled and coordinated to cause the least amount of disruption to customers as possible.

Southeast Corridor Speed Restrictions FAQ

Phase I Impacts to Service

Beginning May 26, all D and H line trains will be rerouted to Denver Union Station, and L Line service, which connects 30th•Downing Station to the downtown loop, will be suspended. No light rail service will operate in RTD’s central corridor through September 2024. Following completion of the project’s first phase in September, crews will pause the reconstruction work until 2025, and all light rail services will resume normal operations. RTD’s bus routes that operate along 15th and 17th streets may also be temporarily impacted during the project, and the agency is working to limit any detours in the downtown area.

With the D and H lines rerouting to Denver Union Station, RTD is planning to temporarily reintroduce its Free MetroRide service, which will operate along 18th and 19th streets. Both the Free MallRide and MetroRide routes provide multiple stops between Union Station and Civic Center Station. In addition, RTD expanded service on Route 0L between I-25/Broadway Station to Civic Center Station.

More information about RTD’s May 2024 service changes is available online.

Phases 2–4 Overview

The subsequent three phases of the project will begin in 2025, and work on each phase may simultaneously occur. The agency’s project team, comprising of staff and consultants, is in the process of developing comprehensive reconstruction plans for the latter phases, which include:

Phase 2: Midblock Reconstruction in Downtown Loop

Phase 3: Colfax Avenue Alignment Reconstruction

Phase 4: Welton Street Corridor

Phases 2-4 Impacts to Service

As the project progresses through these phases, bus routes and the D, H and L lines will be impacted at various times. In the same spirit as Phase 1, RTD is developing service plans to account for the work while coordinating with City and County of Denver to minimize impacts to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Phase I - Five Intersections

  • Broadway and Welton

  • Stout and 17th

  • California and 15th

  • Stout and 15th

  • California and 17th

Broadway and Welton
Stout and 17th
California and 15th
Stout and 15th
California and 17th

Rail and Road Construction Impacts

Customer Tools

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the Downtown Rail Reconstruction Project

Frequently Asked Questions

Service Alerts

RTD encourages customers to sign up for Service Alerts to receive text and email notifications about future and real-time disruptions that impact specific bus routes, rail line, stop or station.

Subscribe for Updates

Next Ride

Customers are also encouraged to use the Next Ride web app to plan trips, view active Service Alerts, and see bus and train locations in real time.

Access Next Ride Here

Customer Care

For additional route and schedule information, or questions on impacts to service, RTD’s Customer Care agents are available 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays by calling 303.299.6000. For Spanish, press 2. For assistance in all other languages, please tell the Information Specialist what language you speak and stay on the phone while they connect to an interpreter.

Request a Translation

Need RTD materials translated into a specific language beyond Spanish? To the extent possible, RTD will provide the translation that you need! Click here.