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Denver resident says I-70 construction made her house shake, city will study vibration impacts

Posted at 4:39 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 19:53:10-04

DENVER -- In the middle of the night the house started shaking, that's when Raquel Casillas said her 8-year-old son woke up exclaiming there was an earthquake.

It wasn't an earthquake, it was construction taking place outside the family's home which is located right next to I-70 near the Vasquez exit. The vibrations were so bad that Casillas started removing things from her wall because she was worried some items might fall off.

"We had to remove the TV from the wall, our living room had shelves with little knick-knacks that had to come down," said Casillas, as she joked about currently having nothing on her walls.

City of Denver officials say standards exist to limit noise but no such regulations are in place when it comes to vibrations. The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) is now looking into the matter to determine if those regulations are needed.

The Investigations Division for DDPHE will study what other communities are doing and hopes to present an analysis before the end of the year.

"We will also be responding to complaints about vibrations in that area to really do some investigating about the extent of them and understand what the impacts are on the people living in that community," said Danica Lee, Director of the Public Health Investigations Division.

Lee said the city has an overnight investigator that can respond to complaints about noise or vibrations right when those concerns arise.

CDOT referred all comment to Kiewit. A spokesperson said that vibration impacts can be an inherent part of construction but the construction team keeps that in mind when determining the best type of equipment to use. He said the goal is to always minimize those impacts and they try to be sensitive about what type of equipment is being used.

"I think it’s frustrating, I think the biggest issue that I have is that unless you’re living through it you have no idea what it truly is like," said Casillas.