News Archive

See what's happening at RTD

Environmental protection is rail line construction priority

Adopting best management practices that conserve the environment and reduce waste are top priorities for the Southeast Rail Extension project team.

Since day one of construction, RTD and Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. (BBII) teams have been implementing site specific measures to ensure environmental stewardship is not only practiced daily, but throughout construction and into 2019 when the line extension is scheduled to open.

As with any light rail construction project, this project involves multiple work sites operating simultaneously across 2.3 miles, where, in addition to building the rail line, three bridges and three stations are under construction.

To keep environmental conservation as a top priority throughout construction, the Southeast Rail Extension project has an environmental management team consisting of RTD and BBII members who together ensure the project is implementing the RTD approved Sustainability Plan.

During early stages of construction, for example, several environmental mitigation measures have already been implemented including dust control, noise mitigation and erosion control.

The Southeast Rail Extension team tests a new track pad to prevent erosion and mitigate dust

A Dust Control Plan reduces dust from the project by:

  • Covering excavated materials
  • Covering truck beds hauling soil
  • Re-vegetating exposed areas to prevent wind and rain erosion
  • Utilizing water trucks throughout construction

A Noise Mitigation Plan reduces noise from the project by:

  • Locating stationary equipment away from sensitive sites
  • Placing noise-absorbing materials on equipment, as needed
  • Conducting high-noise activities during daytime, when possible

An Erosion Control Plan employs best management practices to protect waterways and prevents erosion from construction related activities by:

  • Constructing safety barriers, or orange fencing, to visually identify the construction work zone. The barrier protects wetlands and other sensitive areas from construction traffic and equipment.
  • Attaching tracking pads to vehicles to minimize sediment leaving the area. When a vehicle drives over the construction entrance, the tracking pads remove mud and sediment from the tires and help to reduce soil transport from the site.
  • On this project, a new and more durable maintenance tracking pad is being tested, which requires less maintenance than traditional tracking pads.
  • Erosion logs are set in place to prevent sediment and debris from entering storm drain inlets. The project’s environmental manager conducts regular inspections to ensure inlets are protected from construction debris, and that construction vehicles/equipment are not tracking mud onto city streets or other sites.

Because construction sites are constantly changing, this construction team is dedicated to following best practices to ensure that environmental protection on the Southeast Rail Extension project remains a top priority.