Much of the downtown light rail will shut down for the summer starting Sunday

The tracks are crumbling. Sounds bad!
2 min. read
New construction along Welton Street creates what Brother Jeff Fard calls a “concrete canyon.” Oct. 26, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Parts of the light rail tracks downtown are literally disintegrating.

That's why the Regional Transportation District (RTD) is shutting down much of downtown light rail service for the summer as part of a multi-year, $152-million project that will fix "condemned" parts of the track.

Thirty years of buses and cars driving over the downtown tracks has worn them down. RTD recognized the conditions in 2022 but didn't prioritize starting comprehensive repairs until this year.

The first phase of the project begins Sunday and runs through September.

Here's how it will affect rail service:

  • D and H lines will reroute to Union Station. They will not go to Colfax at Auraria, Theatre District/Convention Center, Stout Street Station or California Street Station. Trains will go from 10th/Osage Station to Auraria West, Empower Field, Ball Arena/Elitch Gardens and Union Station instead.
  • E and H lines will have reduced service and slower speeds.
  • The L line will be suspended.
  • The N line will add a north and southbound trip in the evening.
  • Sunday through Thursday D, E, H and R lines will have reduced hours between 5 a.m. to midnight. The W line will have reduced hours between 4:30 a.m. and midnight.

Here's how it will affect bus service:

  • The free MetroRide will return, running along 18th and 19th streets to connect Union Station and Central Business District.
  • Free MallRide service frequency will drop by 10 minutes.
  • Union Station and Downtown Boulder Station will see minor schedule adjustments.

What's the timeline?

Phase one will focus on 15th and California, 17th and California, 15th and Stout, 17th and Stout, and Broadway and Welton — so expect construction at those intersections throughout the summer.

Operations will return to normal in September before RTD begins future phases of the project next year.

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