By Dillon Thomas
DENVER (CBS4)– Community organizers Nicky Yollick and Gabriel Thorn have been talking to neighbors in Globeville and Elyria-Swansea, informing them a noise variance request from Central 70 contractor Kiewit.
“We’re just going door-to-door to ask people with a very friendly face, ‘Would you be willing to sign this petition so that you guys can get sleep over the next six years?'” said Yollick.
In a letter to area residents, Denver Public Health and Environment says noise variances are required when nighttime construction work is proposed and noise levels would be higher than existing conditions.
Many buildings and homes have been demolished or boarded up in preparation for the Central 70 Project, the Interstate 70 expansion project, through the Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods.
“People are going crazy with the amount of construction that’s happening here,” said Candi CdeBaca.
CdeBaca is a lifelong resident of the neighborhood and a social worker who runs a youth nonprofit.
She calls the application for a noise variance a slap in the face.
“We’ve seen it coming every single time and we ask the right questions, we ask for the right things and nothing happens and then the projects get approved and here we are dealing with the questions we were asking at the front end.”
And so they are working together on a petition, hoping this time their combined voices will be heard.
“That we are able to get rid of the nighttime noise variance, that we can at least let these people get some sleep,” said Thorn.
The Denver Board of Public Health and Environment will be holding a public meeting on Thursday, July 12 at 5:30 p.m. at 200 W. 14th Ave on the 2nd floor in the Grand Mesa Conference Room.
If you are part of the GES neighborhood and would like to sign the petition, you can find contact information on the Ditch The I-70 Ditch Facebook group.
The Colorado Department of Transportation released this statement to CBS4: This is one of the trade offs for any large construction project—the opportunity for a contractor to reduce the length of construction overall by doing work at night while balancing community needs and concerns. This is why the variance process is so important; so that these exact issues can be evaluated and discussed. At the same time, CDOT has provided home improvements to approximately 250 homes near the I-70 viaduct so that these homes have an extra measure of insulation against construction noise, whether day or night.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.