Editor's Note: 'Our Colorado' stories help natives and newcomers navigate the challenges related to our rapidly growing state, including real estate and development, homelessness, transportation and more. To comment on this or other 'Our Colorado' stories, email us atOurCO@TheDenverChannel.com. See more 'Our Colorado' storieshere.
DENVER — If the construction company behind the expansion of Interstate 70 gets their way, neighbors living near the highway would have to deal with construction day and night for the next 65 months.
A letter sent to residents describes how Kiewit Infrastructure has applied for a noise variance (basically permission to be loud) for “approximately 65 months of daytime/nighttime construction needed for the project to be completed by the end of December 2023.”
“I can’t even imagine what we’re going to do with five years and a half of noise in the nighttime,” Elyria Swansea resident Ramiro Alvarez said.
The construction company explained the reason behind the variance to Denver7.
“Doing work at night helps the project at the end of the day, helps everyone at the end of the day, because it reduces the duration of the project,” Hunter Sydnor of Kiewit Meridian Partners explained.
The company’s spokesperson added that the variance includes mandates to keep the volume down. That consists of a wall to dampen the noise in certain parts, quieter generators, and no blaring backup alarms for trucks. It also requires nights off for construction.
“It could be working in different places every single night, but it will not be here every single night. It might be here a night, down there a night, but it will not be in the exact same place 24/7,” she explained.
Major construction like bridge construction activity would have to take place on a 3-nights-on, 4-nights-off schedule. Regular construction would take place on a 5-nights-on, 2-nights-off schedule.
“It’s going to be loud,” Evan Hecht, who lives right next to the highway, told Denver7.
Hecht says CDOT has come around offering him and his neighbors storm windows and insulation to cut down on noise and dust once construction starts.
“It’s not going to soundproof your house. It’s not going to keep all the dust out,” he said.
He’s looking forward to the finished product but says until then he will
“just go through the pain and suffering of doing it.”
There is an anti-variance petition being circled online and through nearby neighborhoods. It had a few hundred signatures as of Friday, claiming that those who live near the highway will have to deal with pollution, daytime noise, and dust but the one thing they shouldn’t have to sacrifice is their sleep.
Kiewit says they’re doing everything they can to minimize the impact this project has on the neighborhood, and when it’s done, it will be a huge plus for the area.
The noise variance must be approved by the Denver Department of Public Health and the Environment. It will be discussed and voted on at the board’s next meeting on Thursday the 12th.