Skip navigation

Board Approves Noise Variance Request for Work on Central 70 Project

Dozens offer commentary on the unprecedented project and its impacts

After a five–hour hearing, Denver’s Board of Public Health & Environment voted to extend a noise variance request by Kiewit Infrastructure Company for nighttime and weekend work on portions of the Central 70 Project running through Denver for another 12-months.

The Board ruled Thursday night that the variance be approved with Department of Public Health & Environment’s (DDPHE) recommendations, and a shortened timeframe of 12-months versus Kiewit’s request for the variance to continue through the completion of the Central 70 Project, which is estimated to be complete in late 2022.

DDPHE will focus on balancing compliance by the contractor with best practices and public health standards.

Residents who spoke out against the variance raised concerns about vibrations associated with construction, which were recognized by the board. DDPHE committed to exploring these concerns. Currently, Denver city ordinance does not directly address vibrations.

The Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE), in partnership with the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative (NDCC), committed to a transparent and public process that allowed for meaningful community engagement. That engagement yielded strong feedback which DDPHE listened to and seriously considered, and many of the community’s suggestions were either already included in the department’s recommendations or added to them.

DDPHE will uphold the decision of the Board while holding the petitioner accountable to all criteria of the approval. DDPHE and NDCC pledge an open-door policy with the community and intend to continuously monitor and communicate about construction activities to ensure the work is done within the standards and criteria set forth in the ruling.

DDPHE appreciates the service of the Board and extends our gratitude to the community members and to the Denver City Council members and staff who participated in the process.

Kiewit is reconstructing a 10-mile stretch of I-70 to widen it and add express toll lanes between I-25 and Chambers Road. It’s expected to conclude December 2022.

The current variance expires September 6.

Background

On Sept. 6, 2018, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment Board ruled that the initial variance for this work be approved with the recommendations provided by DDPHE and an amended duration of 12 months (instead of the 52-month time frame requested). As part of the approval of the variance, DDPHE agreed to monitor noise levels in the construction area and provide monthly updates to the Board on the project.