RTD Pays Millions In Settlement With N Line Contractor

<p><span style="font-size: 13.008px;">(Nathaniel Minor/CPR News)</span></p>
<p>The N Line commuter rail line&#039;s National Western Stock Show platform is under construction in north Denver on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.</p>
Photo: RTD N Line 2 | Stock Show platform
The N Line commuter rail line's National Western Stock Show platform is under construction in north Denver on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

After a battle over blame and money that made its way to Denver District Court last year, the Regional Transportation District is set to pay more than $30 million to the contractor building its N Line commuter rail train. 

RTD and Regional Rail Partners had each argued that the other was at fault for myriad construction delays, including land acquisition issues near the National Western Stock Show in North Denver.

The $390 million, 12.5-mile line from Denver’s Union Station to 124th Avenue in Thornton was supposed to open earlier this year, but the latest estimate puts that at spring 2020.

The settlement means both parties will release all claims and counterclaims, RTD says.

"We're happy to keep the project moving along, and look forward to getting it completed and opening it," RTD Public Relations Manager Tina Jaquez said Friday.

An initial $15 million payment was scheduled to be made 15 days after the board approved it Oct. 9. RTD will make two additional payments of $8.75 million each when certain project milestones are reached.

In board documents, RTD staff wrote that the settlement is an effort to get back to a “clean slate” between the parties.

“The settlement agreement expresses the goal for both parties to work together to mitigate further delays to Final Completion and to strive to achieve revenue service in 2019,” they wrote. “RRP and RTD will work collaboratively to assure, if not improve, the milestone dates.”

A spokeswoman for Regional Rail Partners did not return a request for comment.

RTD and another contractor, Denver Transit Partners, are currently suing each other in Denver District Court over issues with the A, B and G lines.​ RTD General Manager Dave Genova told board members at a meeting in October that although that conflict has escalated into lawsuits, he hopes the two parties will settle.

“We don't want it to be drawn out. We don't want, you know, the negative connotations of a lawsuit and a court case. We just want to get it resolved and do our daily business,” he said.