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Eagle Project

Eagle Schematic
Project Type: 
Public Transit
Sponsor / Borrower: 
Regional Transportation District (RTD)
Credit Agreement Status: 
Active
TIFIA Assistance: 
$280 million
Primary Revenue Pledge: 
Tax Revenues
Project Cost Details: 

$2,047 billion

Duration / Status: 

Commercial and financial close with Denver Transit Partner occurred in August 2010. Substantial completion is expected to occur during 2017.

Expected completion dates:

  • Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility (CRMF) - completed March 2015
  • East Corridor - completed April 2016
  • Gold Line - 2017
Fiscal Year Closed: 
FY2012
Project Description: 

The Eagle Project is part of RTD's FasTracks initiative, a voter-approved program to expand rail and bus transit throughout the Denver metropolitan region. FasTracks includes 122 miles of commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, the redevelopment of Denver Union Station (DUS), 21,000 new parking spaces, and other improvements. The Eagle Project elements funded by the TIFIA loan include the following:

  • East Corridor - 22.8-mile commuter rail line from DUS to Denver International Airport with five stations
  • Gold Line - 11.2-mile commuter rail line, the first 3.7 miles of which are shared with the Northwest Line (segment 1) from DUS north and west to Wheat Ridge, with six intermediate stations
  • CRMF - sited adjacent to the Gold and Northwest Lines it includes a central control center, a maintenance shop, and a rail storage yard, among other facilities

The Eagle Project is being procured through a concession agreement between RTD and Denver Transit Partners to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the project's components for 34 years. RTD will retain ownership of all assets at all times, set fares and fare policies, and keep all project revenues. RTD will make availability payments to the concessionaire based on established performance metrics.

As of September 2015, the Eagle P3 project has employed 6,900 individuals and contributed more than $1.319 billion in total economic impact. Additionally, the project nearly cuts in half the time it takes for commuters to travel from downtown Denver to Denver International Airport, according to a 2011 statement from former US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. The use of TIFIA financing and concessionaire structuring allowed for project delivery approximately 2 years earlier than other methods would have allowed.

Funding Sources: 
  • New Starts Full Funding Grant Agreement: $1,030.4M
  • Private Activity Bonds: $396.1M
  • TIFIA Loan: $280M
  • Other Federal Grants: $62.1M
  • RTD Sales Tax Revenue: $114.3M
  • Revenue Bond Proceeds: $48.2M
  • Local/CDOT/Other Contributions: $40.3M
  • Equity: $54.3M
  • Other Sources: $20.8M
Project Delivery / Contract Method: 

DBFOM (Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain)

Project Advisors / Consultants: 

RTD Eagle P3 Advisor - Goldman, Sachs & Co.

RTD Financial Advisor - First Southwest Company

RTD Bond Counsel - Sherman & Howard, LLC

To USDOT TIFIA JPO:

  • TIFIA Legal Advisor - Bryant Miller Olive
  • TIFIA Financial Advisor - Montague DeRose and Associates, LLP/ High Street Consulting Group, LLC
Project Lender(s): 
USDOT TIFIA
TIFIA Credit Assistance Detail: 

Direct loan: $280 million. The TIFIA loan is secured by a senior lien gross revenue pledge of RTD's 0.4 percent sales tax revenues and a subordinate lien pledge of RTD's 0.6 percent sales tax revenues.

Financial Status: 
The TIFIA credit agreement was executed in December 2011. RTD was awarded a $1.030 billion Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) on August 31, 2011. Interest payments are set to begin in 2021 and principal payments are set to start in 2025; final loan maturity is expected to occur in 2045.
Innovations: 
  • First P3 for commuter rail in the U.S. to include design-build, financing, and long-term operations
  • First P3 project advanced through FTA's Penta-P P3 pilot program
  • Winner of 2010 "Deal of the Year" in the southwest region by The Bond Buyer
Project Contacts: 

Kevin Flynn
Public Information Manager
Regional Transportation District
Tel. (303) 299-2898
kevin.flynn@rtd-denver.com

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