The W Rail Line is winning awards already, and the first train hasn’t even carried passengers down the line yet.
The line was named as one of the most significant construction projects of 2012 by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) during its annual convention in Palm Springs, Calif., on March 7.
The line, which opens on April 26, received the Alliant Build America Merit Award.
The Denver Transit Construction Group (DTCG) — which is based out of Lakewood, and is the general contractor for the line — was also one of six firms to receive the Alliant Build America Merit Award.
“RTD is fortunate to have had Denver Transit Construction Group as one of the major contractors on the West Rail Line project,” said RTD General Manager Phil Washington in a statement. “They demonstrated hard work, tremendous skill and determination to see this important project through to completion.”
The Alliant Build America Merit Awards recognize the nation’s most significant construction projects.
A panel of judges, in all areas of construction, examined this year’s submissions, looking at features like the project’s complexity, use of innovative construction techniques and client satisfaction.
According to Kathy Berumen, public information manager for DTCG, there were many features of the construction process that helped the line be recognized.
“We built some great relationships that help us to make sure everything was built on time,” she said. “Safety was also extremely important — we had a very low number of accidents and no claims during construction, which is almost unheard of.”
The fact that the W Rail Line will be completed eight months ahead of schedule, through the cooperation of three cities, was another boon to the line.
Berumen also said that the innovation used in construction — like building the 6th Avenue Bridge and then rolling it into place over the highway — was a crucial reason that the line received the award.
“We also tried to be very sensitive to the environment, and contribute to the community,” she said. “We made monetary donations, donated fridges and freezers from apartments that had to be removed to Habitat for Humanity, and held several block parties for the neighborhoods. We also donated a lot of equipment to the Colorado Railroad Museum.”