DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation and the Front Range Passenger Rail Commission said they are fast-tracking review processes about proposals to build a passenger rail network between Pueblo and Fort Collins.
In a news release sent out on Tuesday, CDOT and the rail commission said they are seeking proposals from consultants to study the feasibility of a passenger rail system on the 173-mile stretch. According to CDOT, the study would identify multimodal options along the Front Range in an effort to cut down on I-25 traffic.
The request for proposals officially opened last Thursday and the proposals are due on June 13, according to Randy Grauberger, director for Front Range Passenger Rail.
“The Commission is excited to explore how passenger rail can bring sustainable and real congestion relief along our Front Range,” said Southwest Chief & Front Range Passenger Rail Chair Jill Gaebler.
Grauberger told News5 that depending on the plan, construction could begin within 10 years on the project. However, that timeline is dependent on the location of the tracks and other factors that could extend the project’s timeline.
The state currently projects population to increase from 4.9 million to 6.6 million people in Front Range communities. As a result, the state is looking to speed up review processes like the rail passenger service development plan and the environmental review required by federal agencies.
The news release read: “The options explored through the study will consider a range of technology alternatives for expanding transportation options along the Front Range, providing sustainable capacity for the system, and integrating multimodal options with work to modernize I-25.”
Grauberger said the commission is set to determine finalists through an interview process and decide on a final proposal in August.