Colorado Congressional Delegation Members Urge Continued Cooperation to Resolve Eagle Project Commuter Rail Line Issues
Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Diana DeGette (CO-01) and Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) along with Colorado Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) sent a letter to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD), and Denver Transit Partners (DTP) urging continued cooperation in finalizing a plan of action to fix ongoing issues with grade crossings on the Eagle Project’s commuter rail lines by the December 15 deadline.
In the letter, the lawmakers made clear that Coloradans cannot afford any further delays or loss of service, writing, “The Eagle Project’s success is critical for our constituents. Many stakeholders came together to support the project based on the economic and quality of life benefits it promises. They are counting on all parties to live up to their obligations and provide the service agreed to.”
The letter follows a November 15, 2018 letter from FRA to RTD raising several concerns with grade crossing warning signal timing, citing non-compliance with waivers previously issued by the administration, calling for an action plan to rectify these issues.
DeGette, Perlmutter, Bennet and Gardner went on to write that they are encouraged by the cooperation of all parties to fix the crossing issues and urge a continued effort to complete a satisfactory action plan by the December 15 deadline. They pledged their commitment to helping facilitate this process in any way possible.
The full text of the letter is below:
December 12, 2018
The Honorable Ronald Batory David A. Genova
Administrator General Manager and CEO
Federal Railroad Administration Regional Transportation District
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE 1560 Broadway, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20590 Denver, CO 80202
John F. Thompson
Executive Project Director
Denver Transit Partners
5151 Fox Street
Denver, CO 80216
Dear Administrator Batory, Mr. Genova, and Mr. Thompson:
We write following the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) November 15 letter to Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) and Denver Transit Partners (DTP) regarding the ongoing issues with the grade crossings on the Eagle Project’s commuter rail lines. We urge all parties to work together to ensure the action plan called for in the letter is completed by December 15 in a manner that ensures safety and meets all federal requirements, while facilitating continued progress on the Eagle Project.
In the November 15 letter, FRA detailed a number of ways the current grade crossing warning signal timing is not in compliance with waivers previously issued by the Administration. It also noted in the two and half years since the initial waiver, no substantial progress has been made to correct the problem permanently.
FRA has been clear the Eagle Project must show compliance with waiver conditions before the Administration can approve quiet zones for any part of the system or allow the Gold Line to begin revenue service demonstrations. Additionally, continued noncompliance could jeopardize the waiver conditions allowing the existing service on the A Line. We cannot afford any further delays or loss of service.
The Eagle Project’s success is critical for our constituents. Many stakeholders came together to support the project based on the economic and quality of life benefits it promises. They are counting on all parties to live up to their obligations and provide the service agreed to.
We are encouraged all parties continue to cooperate, but efforts to resolve the grade crossing issues have so far proved insufficient. The action plan is a crucial step toward resolving these issues once and for all. We strongly urge all parties to fully commit to completing a satisfactory action plan by the December 15 deadline and work together to implement this action plan swiftly, and we stand ready to help facilitate this process in any way possible.
Diana DeGette Michael F. Bennet
Member of Congress United States Senator
Cory Gardner Ed Perlmutter
United States Senator Member of Congress