Could Accelerate Construction of North Metro Rail Line
Agency Plans to Release Call for Proposals by End of Year
|Regional Transportation District (RTD) General Manager Phil Washington announced today that RTD has identified another item for the FasTracks Internal Savings Account that may allow it to take advantage of favorable debt interest savings. Refinancing a portion of its debt could offer RTD an opportunity to build the North Metro Rail Line to 72nd in Commerce City sooner than expected.
Washington said RTD staff has been studying its FasTracks Internal Savings Account, as part of the agency’s Risk Allocation Matrix, to identify additional innovative ways to allocate more funds to complete FasTracks projects. “We believe and are confident that if financial market conditions remain constant and we receive timely approvals from local governments on the in-process design, we can release a Request for Proposal (RFP) to build the North Metro rail line to 72nd within the next 10 months.”
Washington said he will be asking the Board to give RTD the ability to take advantage of several financial market opportunities, which include:
• Refinancing three RTD debt issues at the current lower-than-issued rates to reduce payments,
• Issuing the needed bridge financing debt for the EagleP3 project now to bridge the Full Funding
• Issuing sales tax revenue bonds in 3rd Quarter, 2013 to finance remaining portion of the DUS to
“This approach,” Washington said, “is consistent with our past innovative financial arrangements that created the Eagle P3 project, the revitalization of Denver Union Station, the public-private partnership to build out I-225 and US 36. We believe that continuing with these innovative financial approaches when available remain in the best interests of the entire District and region.”
Meanwhile, RTD is analyzing federal grants programs and preparing to submit funding proposals for the remainder of the North Metro Corridor and is seeking financial assistance from partners in the region to fund the other 50 percent match (approximately $250 million).
“The bottom line,” Washington said, “is this will allow RTD to build more of the FasTracks program sooner, does not require new revenue sources to complete the North Metro segment to 72nd, allows RTD to take advantage of historically low interest rates, and with no negative impact on the other project(s) that we have identified as a priority in the FasTracks Internal Savings Account.”
Washington added that this approach allows RTD to complete within the next 8 to10 months the final design now underway on North Metro to 72nd, reduces construction risk, allows time to complete Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) with regional stakeholders, and will not negatively impact the availability of funding for other priority projects.
The next steps in this process are:
1. The RTD Board of Directors will review the proposed approach and will consider approval at its
2. RTD will finalize IGAs with stakeholders.
3. RTD will quickly begin to apply for federal funds to finance 50 percent of the Northwest Metro
4. RTD will identify the other 50 percent match for federal funds from 72nd to the end of line to
5. Since RTD already owns the track along the Right of Way past 72nd, it will determine whether
FasTracks is RTD’s voter-approved transit expansion program to build 122 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, add 21,000 new parking spaces, redevelop Denver Union Station and redirect bus service to better connect the eight-county District. For more information, visitwww.rtd-denver.com.
RTD Plan to Refinance Debt
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