The fight over I-70 nighttime construction is delayed again

Kiewit promises changes after community uproar.

I-70 (Goshen Carmel for Denverite)

I-70 (Goshen Carmel for Denverite)

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Construction crews won’t be working night shifts on Interstate 70 just yet.

The company that is rebuilding the highway has again delayed its controversial request for permission to work 24-7 on the highway in north Denver.

Kiewit Meridiam Partners says that it needs to work around-the-clock in order to finish the $2.2 billion project by the year 2022. But some residents said they were blindsided when the request was publicized early in July.

The company says it needs a “noise variance” from the city — permission to be loud at night, basically. The city’s Board of Public Health and Environment was supposed to consider the issue on July 12. Later, a Kiewit representative said the issue would be delayed until August.

Now, the hearing has been rescheduled for Sept. 6, according to spokesperson Hunter Sydnor. The meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. in the City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St.

For more information on I-70 construction, check out this summary.

What they’re arguing about:

“Kiewit is continuing to engage with impacted residents in the community to provide this information and gain feedback,” Sydnor wrote in an email.

City staff say that nighttime work should be allowed, but they suggested certain protections, such as low-noise equipment, sound barriers and frequent breaks in construction. Staff also suggested that Kiewit pay for hotels and provide transportation for residents when construction gets too noisy.

But residents of north Denver have said that years of nighttime work will be too disruptive and noisy, especially because the highway was built straight through neighborhoods in the 1960s.

Sydnor said that Kiewit is revising its plans to ease community concerns, but the details of the changes weren’t immediately available. They will be publicized before the meeting.

If you want to go:

The Board of Public Health and Environment meets Thursday, Sept. 6, at 5:30 p.m. in the Parr-Widener Community Room at the Denver City and County Building.

That’s Room 389 at 1437 Bannock St. Paid parking is usually available in the area. Free parking also is available several blocks to the south.

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