- Kiewit Meridiam Partners will pay a $45,000 fine to the Colorado DOT for flooding on an I-70 jobsite in Denver on Aug. 7 that stranded at least 11 motorists and damaged nearby properties. The firm was tapped to design, build and maintain the 10-mile, $1.2 billion Central 70 project that runs through northeast Denver.
- The contractor found that computer settings that manage the pumps that were supposed to keep the site drained properly were set incorrectly and didn’t turn on automatically amid heavy rainfall, according to its corrective action report released Tuesday.
- Kiewit says it has corrected the issue. “The main pump system and the backup system have been tested frequently and have effectively managed rainfall since the August event,” Kiewit said in a statement reported by the Denver Post. “We continue to monitor the system to ensure its continued reliability. CDOT has issued a $45,000 penalty which will be deducted from KMP’s substantial completion payment.”
The Central 70 project was developed to address safety concerns on the aging but vital road and to meet growing transportation demand in the growing city of Denver. It represents the largest infrastructure project in the state’s history, according to Colorado DOT.
The project entailed reconstructing a 10-mile stretch of I-70 between Brighton Boulevard and I-270 in northeast Denver, removing a 57-year-old viaduct, lowering the highway and installing express lanes, seven miles of sidewalks and a bike route. To cap it off, a 4-acre park was built over the interstate.
Work began in 2018 and the express lanes opened on Aug. 31, marking the last major milestone on the project. Remaining work on the park portion wrapped on Nov. 30, according to a Colorado DOT press release, and the overall project was completed under budget.
The flooding did not impact the project timeline, said Colorado DOT spokesperson Stacia Sellers, and no other action will be taken against the contractors for the incident.
Kiewit did not respond to requests for comment as of publication time.