Denver is adding another extension to its light rail system, and is hoping it will spur another economic boom along with it. This Friday, a new light rail line will extend to Denver’s western suburb of Golden, via the West Colfax Avenue corridor. In the past, this route has been connected by trolley, and most recently by bus. With the arrival of light rail, Golden and the West Colfax corridor can get back on track to develop the type of economic investment and growth that it had experienced during previous periods in the town’s history.
The West Rail Line (W Line) is the first project to be completed since voter approval of a $6.5 billion mass transit package, paid for with a 0.4% sales tax, in 2004. A number of private and public entities have already invested millions of dollars in the surrounding areas on the West Colfax Avenue corridor, with plans for new housing, office, retail, and even research & development. The W Line will connect downtown, two college campuses, the Federal Center, St. Anthony’s Hospital, and Golden, the Jefferson County seat. The East Rail Line is scheduled to open in 2016 and will connect Union Station and Denver International Airport.