RTD, DTP receive federal approval
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) has received approval from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to begin the next phase of testing on the G Line. Starting today, testing is ramping up and will soon simulate the full daily service schedule of nearly 21 consecutive hours each day. This authorization given to RTD and its contractor, Denver Transit Partners (DTP), represents another significant step forward in the process to open the commuter rail line for passenger service. Limited testing along the forthcoming 11.2-mile line between Union Station and Wheat Ridge began last fall and has been underway between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays since the start of this year. That process has examined the communication signaling along the line, as well as the effectiveness of the communication technology in place at each of the G Line’s 16 at-grade railroad crossings. The gate-crossing technology is the same as that used along two additional lines originating in downtown Denver: the University of Colorado A Line, to Denver International Airport, and the B Line, to Westminster.
Colorado employment for June
Employers in Colorado added 4,200 nonfarm payroll jobs from May to June for a total of 2,729,600 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 3,700 and government increased 500. May estimates were revised up to 2,725,400, and the over the month increase from April to May was 9,700 rather than the originally estimated 7,700. According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point from May to June to 2.7 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 9,800 over the month to 3,074,300 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 10,800 to 2,990,200, causing the number of unemployed to decrease 1,000 and the unemployment rate to decline to 2.7 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate increased two-tenths of a percentage point in June to 4.0 percent.
On Friday, July 20, the President signed into law: H.R. 770, the “American Innovation $1 Coin Act,” which requires the Department of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition of American innovation and significant innovation and pioneering efforts of individuals or groups from each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories.
Gov. John Hickenlooper issued a letter this week asking the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to more thoroughly consider impacts to greater sage grouse, winter range for big game and communities in the North Fork Valley in its planned December lease sale of parcels for oil and gas development. “BLM leaders in Washington have made significant changes to timelines and public involvement related to its process for public leasing of land parcels for oil and gas development. These changes limit a comprehensive review of the impact of these leases on wildlife, the environment and communities,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. Visit https://bit.ly/2JMuMr5 to read the full letter.
Mayor Hancock and the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) released their strategic plan in response to the opioid crisis. Opioids have been a growing issue sweeping through our nation. “The overprescription and (mis)use of opioids is taking a toll on the country,” states the strategic plan. The plan was created with the collaboration of several governmental agencies. The 5-year plan consists of three goals; preventing substance (mis)use, improving treatment access and retention, and reducing harm.