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RTD, Balfour Beatty Infrastructure uphold environmental focus with SE Rail Extension construction

Written by Kyra Senese, managing editor
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The Southeast Rail Extension team tests a new track pad to prevent erosion and mitigate dust.

The Regional Transportation District (RTD) and Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. (BBII) teams say they have implemented site-specific measures to ensure environmental maintenance is practiced throughout construction and into 2019, when the line of the Southeast Rail Extension (SE) is set to open.  


The light-rail construction project includes several work sites operating simultaneously across 2.3 miles, where construction is also underway at three bridges and three stations.

The SE project’s environmental management team includes members of RTD and BBII, who say they are working to ensure the RTD-approved Sustainability Plan is being implemented.

Representatives say several environmental management efforts have already been put in place, such as dust control, noise mitigation and erosion control.

The project team’s Dust Control Plan includes the following efforts:

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

The team’s Noise Mitigation Plan aims to reduce noise by:

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

The team’s Erosion Control Plan works to protect waterways and prevent erosion from construction by:

  • Constructing safety barriers, or orange fencing, to visually identify the construction work zone and protect wetlands and other sensitive areas from construction traffic and equipment.
  • Attaching tracking pads to vehicles to minimize sediment leaving the area.
  • 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.
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