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I-70 demolition debris from CDOT's Mile High Shift project impacts Denver restaurant

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Posted at 5:04 PM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 21:20:49-04

DENVER -- The cloud of dust is visible from Casa De Sanchez, a restaurant that sits right next to the raised portion of I-70 where demolition on a 57-year-old viaduct is underway.

Crews began demolishing the massive concrete structure at the end of May and as they inched closer to the restaurant, Yadira Sanchez says she became anxious. She filed a complaint with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and its contractor, Kiewit, as the debris started impacting business.

"It’s getting close to lunch hour and there isn’t anybody here, normally by this time we’ll have cars starting to swing in," said Sanchez.

Yadira says it's not only the debris, but a maze of construction-related road closures that's deterring customers.

"We managed to survive COVID and that was hard, we lost a lot of clientele because of that but whatever was remaining I feel like we’re really close to losing everything because of all of this," said Sanchez.

On Tuesday afternoon, workers installed a large net near the viaduct in hopes of catching more dust and debris. A spokesperson for CDOT said officials are taking complaints seriously.

"Even with these mitigations in place you’re still going to have some dust," said Stacia Sellers with CDOT.

Sellers said after Casa De Sanchez filed a complaint, the contractor added an extra water tank and device that mists water. She said air quality monitors are also being used to make sure the particles in the air do not reach unsafe levels.

“Since we received the complaint on June 2 we’ve put in over $1,000 worth of orders into that restaurant. We are encouraging all of our crew members if they have to stop for lunch or dinner to please do so at the businesses that are right next to I-70," said Sellers.

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