By Michael Abeyta
DENVER (CBS4)– It was a mixed ruling for the Central 70 Project that some see as a win for the contractor and somewhat of a loss for people living near and next to the massive construction project.
Kiewit Meridiam Partners, the construction company overseeing the Interstate 70 expansion plan, recently asked Denver Public Health and Environment for a noise variance that would allow for nighttime work, particularly for bridge construction. In order to meet deadlines and to complete the massive project, they say they’ll need to work overnight.
For people living in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, it is far from peaceful.
“There’s a couple of trains and there’s construction form other projects kind of further down but kind of in the same neighborhood so people kind of already hear noises all the time,” said resident Alma Urbano.
The Central 70 Project promises to make it even noisier. Thursday night, Denver Public Health and Environment approved a request from Kiewit Construction to conduct demolition work overnight. Kiewit plans to mitigate the noise and even offer hotel vouchers, but residents say even a little bit of noise would be a burden.
“It’s going to disrupt people’s sleep patterns and the way people generally live their lives” said resident Dave Ortega.
Urbano says she and other residents spoke out to the board against granting the request, “It felt like at least they were hearing some of the worries we had.”
In the end, Denver Public Health & Environment approved a one-year variance and not the 52 months that Kiewit initially asked for.
Urbano feels like it’s a minor victory, “They’re just going to have us go and present again and maybe they’re just still going to prove it for another year. And then we’ll go again and then they’ll maybe already have the decision in mind that they will approve it.”
A statement from Kiewet reads: “Kiewit Infrastructure Co. is pleased with the outcome of the variance. The team has worked diligently with the staff of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) to develop noise mitigation solutions to ensure we are working below the newly allowable decibel levels. Our team is committed to building this project with the utmost sensitivity to our neighbors and are excited to deliver this project to the community.”