Friday, November 12, 2010

Kate Iverson, DU JD Graduate and Assistant General Counsel at Denver's RTD, Discusses "Fastracks" Light Rail Project During Speakers Series

Kate Iverson, Associate General Counsel for the Regional Transportation District in Denver, spoke recently to University of Denver Sturm College of Law students about Fastracks, the RTD's major light rail project that is currently being built.

Ms. Iverson, a 2006 JD graduate from the College of Law, described Fastracks as a multi-billion dollar comprehensive transit expansion plan to build 122 miles of new commuter rail and light rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit, and the stations and parking spaces needed to support the system. She said that the West Corridor Light Rail project would be finished in 2013, Union Station in 2015, and the East Corridor Rail and Gold Line Rail in 2016.

She explained the unique nature of the Eagle P3 Project, which will involve the 22.8 mile East Corridor to Denver International Airport as well as the 11.2 mile Gold Line commuter rail to Arvada and Wheat Ridge and a starter segment to south Westminster on the Northwest Rail commuter rail corridor. The interesting aspect of the project is that it consists of a public/private partnership that will build out this portion of Fastracks. "It's a design, build, finance, operate, and maintain project," she said.

Among her responsibilities include meeting and negotiating with local governments to discuss what work will be done in a particular jurisdiction, who will pay for it, and who will maintain it. She is also centrally involved in issues related to utilities and trails that happen to intersect with Fastracks. She also negotiates with railroads to obtain Fastracks' access to railroad rights of way.
Don C. Smith, director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law (ENRL) program, said, "The work that Kate Iverson is doing at Fastracks is a key element in what will ultimately be one of the largest light rail networks in the American west. Having her speak at the College of Law benefits students desiring to learn more about this vast undertaking and provides an inside view of what a large city transport development attorney does. I am sure Kate will be back over the next few years to share the progress on this project, which has the potential of changing transport patterns all across the Denver metropolitan area."

Ms. Iverson's presentation, which was part of the ENRL Speakers Series, was co-sponsored by the Land Use Law Society.

For a map of the Fastracks project, please click here.

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