What RTD Has Discovered on the Route to FasTracks

September 22 2009, 10:35 AM

The Regional Transportation District's expansive FasTracks rail vision for the Front Range will journey over a parcel of land that appeared lush 66 million years ago, in the era after dinosaurs went extinct. Workers uncovered the plant fossils at Sixth Avenue and Simms Street, prompting the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to dispatch a team to recover evidence of ancient palm trees, ferns, and flowers. Scientists say the fossils appear to come from a time when mammals began to dominate the landscape (via 7News). Dr. Ian Miller, curator of paleontology at the museum, says the plants are linked to the first forests to recover after an asteroid explosion in Mexico is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs. Meanwhile, a fossil of a different sort has popped up in FasTracks' plans, thanks to T-REX---the massive expansion project on I-25 and I-225, not the king of the dinosaurs. According to Kevin Flynn's Inside Lane, RTD has learned a lesson from the T-REX project and will improve its contracting methods as FasTracks grows.