APWA AWARDS 2023 FEATURE: Central 70 FEATURE: The Opioid Crisis COLUMNS: Association News PS: Out & About in Colorado FALL 2023: Vol. 19, No. 5 - $4.95
2┃ Colorado Public Works Journal
J O U R N A L Jo Taylor, Managing Editor I often get asked what I like about my job. Well, there is no one thing that I like over and above other things, but there are many that make up the answer. Here is a snapshot of some of the things that my job entails: The Colorado Public Works Journal - email@example.com THE EDITOR REMEMBER that Colorado Public Works Journal can now be read online, on your phone, tablet or other mobile device. Please go there, take a look and let us know what you think at coloradopublicworksjournal.com FALL 2023┃3 I get to write about the brilliant work that you do here in Colorado and choose the photographs that best show off that work for everyone to see. See APWA Awards Section pages 21-34. I get invited to see first hand the work that you are doing, how you are doing it and take photographs of you doing it. I have the opportunity to meet these talented workers and find out more about their jobs and learn about what skills they have. I get invited to Ribbon Cuttings and the unveiling of new buildings and see the excitement on the teams faces who have spent many years bringing a project to fruition. See EPIC campus on page 61 People send me news on their business and their people to show off their accomplishments and get exposure. See NEWS pages 6-11 I help the not so talked about topics get publicity. Allowing readers to read and be aware of the information without any stigma attached. See Opioid Crisis page 12 I can feature projects like Central 70, which everyone talks about daily, drives on daily and has questions about. See pages 16-18 I attend Career Week for Girls as CPWJ are the T&C GIRL Media Sponsor and get to meet amazing young girls like Frances, who wrote an essay about her experience. See page 44 I get invited to parties to celebrate milestones like CAPA’s 40th Anniversary. See page 60 I can try out machinery and understand exactly what it feels like for the operator. See photo above taken at the Trimble Media Day. I meet new people all the time who want to be a part of CPWJ, who want to connect with me, or our team, to showcase their products and services. These often turn into long lasting relationships, many of who contribute to CPWJ by way of advertising and content. I get invited to exclusive media events, where we are the first to learn about technologies and programs some of which are yet to be used in our industry. See Trimble News on page 10 I learn about different peoples opinions relating to their communities and find tips to share that may help others in ours. See CiC page 42 I go to many networking events within the industry to build brand awareness, for CPWJ and our advertising partners. I meet and talk to readers to find out more of what they want in CPWJ. I bring you our reader a snapshot of what is going on in our industry and show you how to find out more. I connect people with people and businesses with businesses. This is what makes CPWJ a valuable resource for you all. If any of you reading this would like to connect with me please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s have conversation, you will be glad you did.
4┃ Colorado Public Works Journal CONTENTS Cover Image: © CDOT APWA Awards: page 21 MAILING LIST MAINTENANCE - COVID UPDATE Working from home and miss seeing your copy of CPWJ? No problem, send us your address and we will have your copy of CPWJ mailed to your home address rather than to your office.You may resume delivery to your office at any time. Please take a moment to let us know of any co-workers who may have moved on and no longer need to be on our mailing list. THANK YOU for helping us. FALL 2023 : Volume 19, No.5 COLORADO PUBLIC WORKS JOURNAL (ISSN 1555-8258) is published bimonthly in January, March, May, July, September and November CPWJ is published by Coterie Press Ltd., 5 White Birch, Littleton, CO 80127 tel: (303) 933-2526 coloradopublicworksjournal.com Managing Editor: Jo Taylor, (720) 360-6737 email@example.com Editor: William Taylor (303) 933-2526 firstname.lastname@example.org Volume 19. No.5, September 2023 Production: Coterie Press Design: Taylored Graphics Printed by: One Stop Printing Subscription, Mailing Services and Accounting email@example.com Subscription $30.00 per year in the USA Periodicals Postage Paid in Denver, Colorado. Postmaster: Send address changes to: Coterie Press Ltd., 5 White Birch, Littleton, CO 80127. Contents copyright © 2023 by Coterie Press Ltd. All rights reserved Colorado Public Works Journal is an independent publication designed to be of service and interest to those providing civil services related to infrastructure construction and maintenance and allied fields, including government officials, heavy/civil contractors, engineers and architects, distributors, dealers and manufacturers of equipment and materials, and providers of services to government agencies and the construction and development industry Colorado Public Works Journal accepts no responsibility or liability for the validity of information and articles supplied by contributors, vendors, advertisers or advertising agencies. Opinions expressed are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily represent the views of the publishers of CPWJ. 06 : Works News Equipment 08 : Works News Updates 11 : Works News People 12 : Mental Health The Opioid Crisis 18 : Decades In The Making Central 70 Comes To Fruition for the good of all 21 : 2023 APWA Awards 38th Annual APWA Award Nominations 48 : Industry Insights Mark J. Bernstein 50 : Association News APWA, ACEC, RTD, CDOT, CAPA, ACPA, CCA, CRMCA, HCC 60 : PS! (Parting Shots) Out and About at Events in Colorado 62 : Advertisers Index Our Corporate Partners APWA AWARDS FEATURE: The Opioid Crisis FEATURE: Industry Insights COLUMNS: Association News PS: Out & About in Colorado FALL 2023: Vol. 19, No. 5 - $4.95 APWA AWARDS 2023
FALL 2023┃5 www.cowyacpa.org CO/WY Chapter—ACPA @COWYACPA CONCRETE: THE SUSTAINABLE PAVEMENT SOLUTION With a LONG LIFE OF 30 OR MORE YEARS with minimal maintenance, concrete pavements are economically sustainable and cost efficient. Concrete pavement’s lighter color MITIGATES URBAN HEAT ISLAND EFFECTS and can help offset global warming. Smooth, rigid concrete pavements REDUCE VEHICLE FUEL CONSUMPTION. As concrete pavement ages, it ABSORBS CARBON DIOXIDE, helping to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
6┃ Colorado Public Works Journal Works News E Q U I P M E N T At the start of 2023, Hamm expanded its range of compact rollers to include eight fully electric models that compact without producing any local emissions. This means that Hamm offers more than 40 compact tandem rollers in the HD CompactLine as all-rounders for asphalt and landscape gardening. For earthworks, the new HC CompactLine series has included five powerful, small compactors in the range since 2022. Both series are predestined for machine rental because they are so versatile and easy to handle. Electric rollers in demand for rental fleets The CompactLine rollers from Hamm have been a firmly established part of the product range of many rental companies for years. Well-known in the market, popular with customers, and robust in operation, they have everything that the rental market needs. This also applies to the new electric models. Since the electric rollers were first presented at Bauma 2022, Hamm has experienced huge demand for these machines, especially from the rental sector. Currently, rental fleets support many caonstruction companies working on specific projects that require machines that do not release local emissions. Alongside this, the share of electrically driven compact rollers will also continue to grow, partly due to legal requirements and partly to the commitments made voluntarily by builders and construction companies. Compact proportions, good handling, great gradeability Not just the electric models, but all the other tandem rollers and compactors in the CompactLine have a very compact design. Its 3-point articulation ensures good handling. It delivers quality and safety by ensuring high driving stability and even weight distribution on both axles. In asphalt construction, this results in level surfaces without undulation formation, and a high level of safety against overturning when cornering. The main advantages for earthworks are the directional stability and effective shock absorption. This enables the compactors to compact safely on uneven terrain. Off-road, these small compactors also impress with their high ground clearance and gradeability – they can handle gradients of 60% and more. With a length of around 4.40 m, the H 70i is also the shortest compactor in the world in this weight class. Easy to use Drivers can immediately operate compact rollers from Hamm correctly without any need for an induction. It is particularly important to have a clear view and easy access to the few buttons on the dashboard, which is very similar in design for the tandem rollers and the compactors. Clear, language-neutral and logically arranged symbols prevent operator errors – even in the dark, because there are luminous buttons to help with orientation. Hamm l Compact tandem rollers and compactors from Hamm – the perfect rental machines The range now includes fully electric tandem rollers = OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE Get Paid Faster Utilize Your Crew & Equipment to Full Capacity Track Your Plan to Actuals More Efficient Payroll ASSIGNAR.COM | @ASSIGNAR See Assignar in Action
FALL 2023┃7 Honnen Equipment proudly announces our Salt Lake City branch is our first John Deere Certified Rebuild Center with the recent completion of a John Deere Powertrain ReLife Plus rebuild of a 744K-II Wheel Loader. The John Deere ReLife program is a comprehensive and flexible machinerebuild solution that can extend the life of a machine by offering a thorough inspection, replacement of major powertrain components, and a John Deere Powertrain ReLife Plus warranty. Tim Stokes, Honnen’s Vice President of Customer Support discusses the process, “When we ReLife a machine, it’s taking a machine that is coming to the end of its useful life, and then refreshing all of the major components. The idea is extending the piece of equipment’s useful life through another whole, or second life. We are excited that we have completed our first one two weeks ahead of schedule.” Honnen’s Salt Lake City service team recently partnered with Whitaker Construction on rebuilding their 744K-II Wheel Loader. According to Stokes, “the customer really likes their machine”, so they chose to rebuild it rather than replace it. An integral part of the ReLife process is communication with the customer throughout the project. From determining that the rebuild is the best solution, to the initial inspection, and variables we encountered throughout the project, we collaborated with Whitaker. Dave Wickham, Whitaker Construction Vice President of Equipment Operations, said “Honnen is a partner with us; it’s not a vendor/customer relationship, it’s a partnership.” During the rebuild, all major components were either replaced or rebuilt back to specifications. This included the engine, engine coolers, transmission, front axle, rear axle, hydraulic pumps, bucket cylinders, wiring harness, safety items and other items critical to extended life cycle of the unit. After reassembling the unit and conducting tests, it was sent out for a fresh coat of paint. The 744K-II is now back in service with continued support from the Honnen Service and Technical Services teams. It is also backed by the ReLife standard one-year unlimited-hour warranty on all John Deere components that Honnen installed plus the extended warranty that the customer opted in to for the major powertrain components that were replaced. Honnen looks forward to completing many more ReLife projects across our territory. Honnen Equipment has been serving the Rocky Mountain region for 60 years, with locations in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho. We provide parts, sales, service, and rentals as well as customer support and technology solutions for today’s heavy equipment. It is our mission to partner with our customers to provide superior value through the lowest owning and operating costs. www.Honnen.com Honnen Equipment announces John Deere Certified Rebuild Center Works News E Q U I P M E N T
8┃ Colorado Public Works Journal Works News U P D A T E S Construction begins on long-awaited I-70 Picadilly Interchange Project A new interchange on Interstate 70 in northeast Aurora will transform regional connectivity, increase mobility, reduce congestion, and improve safety for Aurora and beyond. The city of Aurora is leading this nearly $100 million design-build project, which is supported by partners like the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, Adams County and the Aerotropolis Regional Transportation Authority. Following a groundbreaking ceremony in August, construction began on the project to extend Picadilly Road between Colfax Avenue and Smith Road via an interchange onto I-70 in Aurora. Improved northsouth connectivity will unlock a roadway network to improve access to world-class residential, commercial, and industrial developments and make Picadilly Road a key arterial point for the region. “This critical transportation improvement in Aurora will fulfill a longplanned, strategic infrastructure priority for one of the state’s most rapidly growing and important regions,” Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman said. “The I-70 Picadilly interchange will improve safety, alleviate congestion, and connect people and commerce to job centers, new neighborhoods and the nation’s third busiest airport.” The project will feature a diverging diamond interchange (DDI) design, with enhanced safety measures including advanced signaling systems, wider lanes and improved lighting that will reduce risks to drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. The new bicycle and pedestrian path through the interchange will also provide safe and accessible infrastructure for the northeast metro area, and improve safety and quality of life for nonmotorized users. The idea for a new interchange at I-70 and Picadilly Road was first presented in 2007 during an environmental assessment of the I-70/E-470 Interchange Complex. In 2020, a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document allowed the city to proceed. Lawrence Construction and its design partner, RS&H, signed contracts with the city of Aurora in January 2023. Interchange completion is expected in late 2025. Burns & McDonnell Designs Facility Expansion, Contributing to the Sustainability of Southeast Colorado’s Water Supply Cherokee Metropolitan District joined Burns & McDonnell and Garney Construction project team members for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate completion of a $45 million design-build wastewater facility project for the Cherokee Metropolitan District in southeast Colorado. Cherokee Metropolitan District opted for a progressive designbuild project delivery approach to implement improvements necessary to remain compliant with its discharge limits. Burns & McDonnell functioned as the designer on the project, while Garney Construction provided construction services. Through a design approach focused on updating and expanding upon the existing infrastructure, project costs were reduced by $6 million. “The upgraded design of our facility will help us to continue to provide a reliable and sustainable water source for our community, which is essential for our region’s continued growth and prosperity,” says Amy Lathen, General Manager for the Cherokee Metropolitan District. “The ribbon-cutting was a great opportunity to showcase the upgraded facility and engage with members of our surrounding communities.” The 4.8 million-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment facility serves 40,000 customers in the Colorado Springs community and surrounding areas in Colorado. The facility boasts 55 acres of evaporation ponds, a zero liquid discharge design, and a first-of-its-kind wastewater treatment process. The efficiency of this design allows wastewater to be treated using only two of the four existing process trains and safely disposes of the reverse osmosis brine waste through evaporation ponds on the surface, rather than deep well injection. This is the U.S.’s largest municipal membrane bioreactor (MBR) and high-recovery reverse osmosis (HRRO) treatment plant, and Colorado’s largest municipal MBR. “The success and innovation of this project are a testament to our partnership with Cherokee Metropolitan District and Garney Construction,” says Zach Herrington, vice president for Burns & McDonnell. “We are proud to have worked on this project and to have contributed to the sustainability and safety of the community’s water supply.”
FALL 2023┃9 Earlier this year The Northglenn Public Works Department received full accreditation by the American Public Works Association (APWA) for the 1st time. This accreditation formally verifies and recognizes that the agency is in full compliance with the recommended management practices set forth in APWA’s Public Works Management Practices Manual. Open to all governmental agencies with responsibilities for public works functions, initial accreditation from APWA is for a four-year period, during which time semi-annual updates will be required to demonstrate continuing compliance. After that time, there is a reaccreditation process which builds on the original accreditation, encouraging continuous improvement and compliance with newly identified practices. The purpose of accreditation is to promote excellence in the operation and management of a public works agency, its programs and employees. Accreditation is designed to assist the agency in continuous improvement of operations and management, and in providing a valid and objective evaluation of agency programs as a service to the public and the profession. “It is a tremendous accomplishment to have accreditation, this honor certifies what we have built over the last 4 years in the department. This kind of thing doesn’t happen without the managers and staff in Public Works that put in the work and Works News U P D A T E S Northglenn, Colorado Public Works Department Achieves American Public Works Association Accreditation for the 1st Time effort every day,” says Kent Kisselman, Public Works Director for the City of Northglenn. The Northglenn Public Works Department is the 9th agency in the State of Colorado to achieve accreditation. In addition to Northglenn, the accredited agencies in Colorado include the cities of Arvada, Aurora, Centennial, Cherry Hills Village, Golden, and Greeley, the town of Castle Rock, and Arapahoe County. EPA fines Suncor for chemical accident prevention and reporting violations This month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $300,030 settlement with the Suncor Energy USA Inc., Commerce City Refinery (Suncor) to resolve alleged violations of toxic chemical-related regulations. The settlement addresses chemical accident prevention, toxic chemical release reporting and community right-to-know violations at the refinery, which EPA discovered during an inspection conducted from September 14-17, 2020. Suncor will pay $60,000 in civil penalties. It will also spend at least $240,030 on emergency response equipment as a Supplemental Environmental Project to enhance the chemical release accident response capabilities of the South Adams County Fire Department in Commerce City, Colorado. “Facilities must properly handle hazardous substances to prevent dangerous chemical accidents and follow reporting requirements when releases occur,” said KC Becker, EPA Regional Administrator. “If they don’t, EPA will hold them accountable. We are pleased that Suncor is implementing critical safety measures to protect workers and the community.” The inspection focused on the root causes related to the catalyst release that occurred on December 11, 2019, among other areas. The EPA found that Suncor violated the following regulations: • The Risk Management Program under the Clean Air Act, which is aimed at preventing accidental releases of chemicals that can have serious consequences for public health, safety, and the environment; Specifically, Suncor failed to maintain correct process safety information, complete outstanding process hazard analyses, update operating procedures and follow management of change procedures. • Toxic chemical release reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act and reporting requirements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, which are designed to notify the community of toxic releases from facilities to help prepare for and protect against chemical accidents. Specifically, Suncor failed to timely report two releases and failed to report sulfuric acid in their industrial batteries to the local emergency responders. Suncor certified that it addressed these findings.
10┃ Colorado Public Works Journal Works News U P D A T E S Trimble Media Day Showcases Company’s Colorado Headquarters, Technology Technology company Trimble recently hosted a media day at its new corporate headquarters in Westminster, Colorado to introduce the company and its technology to local journalists – including Colorado Public Works Journal. According to CEO Rob Painter, more than 1,000 Colorado organizations are using Trimble technology on farms, construction jobsites and public works projects across the state. At media day, attendees got a chance to see first-hand Trimble’s solutions for automatic steering of farm and construction equipment, mixed and virtual reality, laser scanning, 3D modeling and more. Trimble’s owner and public sector team is focused specifically on asset lifecycle management solutions that connect people, processes and data for ongoing asset management across all phases of a public sector construction project. At media day, employees demonstrated Trimble AgileAssets, an asset management solution that helps provide transportation organizations with the insights they need for real-time decision making and efficiently managing day-today maintenance operations. Trimble relocated its corporate headquarters from Sunnyvale, California to Westminster, Colorado last October. The company employs 13,000 people worldwide and 1,100 in Colorado. Its technology solutions are used in more than 150 countries to help build the world, feed the world and move the world. In April, the company also began construction of a 1.7 megawatt solar array on its Westminster campus. The 4.4 acre project will provide more than 100 percent of the energy consumed at the Westminster office, which represents approximately 6-7 percent of the company’s total global electricity demand. The project will also include a solar carport with 49 electric vehicle charging stations. Trimble is working with Boulder-based Namaste Solar to design and build the project. Attracting & Retaining Women in the Construction Industry The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and Ambition Theory announce the release of Building Better, a report based on a survey with 770 women across a variety of construction sectors. The work identifies three main action items for the industry to focus on: providing women with leadership opportunities, investing in training and prioritizing work-life balance. Leadership Women in construction want to be leaders. Seeing a clear path to career advancement is the most important factor for women with more than one year of industry experience who are seeking new job opportunities. Despite this ambition, women still don’t advance at the same rate as their male counterparts. In fact, 72% of the women surveyed have rarely or never had a woman manager or supervisor. This research reveals a lack of sponsorship as a critical barrier preventing women’s career progression. “Unlike mentors who offer advice and share stories, sponsors actively advocate for women, extend invitations to key meetings, and invest in their success. By providing exposure to new opportunities and endorsing women’s capabilities, sponsors can play a pivotal role in accelerating women’s path to leadership,” said Andrea Janzen, Ambition Theory Founder and CEO. Training One of the keys to career advancement is training, and this report highlights the need to make training more accessible to women. Young women tend to have less exposure to construction and a great desire to learn, so companies that do provide training not only bring women into the industry but keep them in the industry. “While salary is the primary motivator for women getting into the construction industry, once they are in, career advancement becomes the reason they stay. Training is one way for companies to show their commitment to providing growth opportunities to their employees,” said Tim Taylor, Director of Research at NCCER. Work-Life Balance The study’s other key finding was the importance of work-life balance for women in construction. For the women surveyed, having flexible work options is not about working from home. It is about the availability of work options that balance the needs of employees, team members and the realities of project schedules. Building Better acknowledges that there will inevitably be differences between flexibility options for office and field employees, but that does not mean improvements can’t be made. The research compiles suggestions employers should consider around workday hours, time off and childcare options.
FALL 2023┃11 Works News P E O P L E Denver International Airport CEO Phil Washington Inducted Into 2023 APTA Hall of Fame Denver International Airport’s (DEN) CEO, Phil Washington, will be inducted into the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding leadership, unwavering dedication and transformative contributions to the public transportation industry. The ceremony will take place in October of this year. The APTA Hall of Fame was established in 1983 and is a prestigious accolade that celebrates distinguished organizations and leaders with awards for their vision, leadership and commitment to public transportation. “It is an honor to be one of the six recipients inducted into the American Public Transportation Association Hall of Fame,” DEN CEO Phil Washington said. “I have always been focused on making a lasting impact in the industry by lifting up the people who work hard every day to make our transportation systems run effectively. People development is my passion and I have and will continue to champion fairness, equity and opportunity.” Throughout his esteemed career, Washington has consistently advocated for inclusive, accessible and environmentally conscious transportation solutions, and recently was named by U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg as one of 24 members of the Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity. His passion for innovation and his ability to foster collaboration have led to transformative changes that have improved the lives of countless passengers and commuters. ACEC Colorado Installs 2023-24 Board of Directors The American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado (ACEC Colorado) recently installed its 2023-24 Board of Directors, whose terms started May 1. Brant Lahnert, PE (KL&A, Inc. – Golden, Colo.) will serve as president and accepted the gavel from Past President A. Gray Clark, PE (Muller Engineering Company – Lakewood, Colo.) during the ACEC Colorado Annual Conference on May 4. Additional officer installments included Dave DiFulvio, PLS (Farnsworth Group – Greenwood Village, Colo.) as vice president; David Merritt, PE (AECOM – Glenwood Springs, Colo.) as secretary-treasurer; and Karlene Thomas, PE (Pinyon Environmental – Colorado Springs, Colo.) as national director. ACEC Colorado Denver Metro directors include Michelle Hansen, PE (Stolfus & Associates – Greenwood Village) and Jennifer Wood, PE (Parsons – Denver), as well as newly appointed Shane McCormick, PE (Martin/ Martin – Lakewood) and Brian Valentine, PE (Kimley-Horn – Denver). Sarah Foster, PE (Olsson – Fort Collins, Colo.) will continue as the North Area director, while Zach Stone, PE (STV, Inc. – Colorado Springs) was installed as the new South Area director and Warren Swanson, PE (SGM – Glenwood Springs) was welcomed as the new West Area director. During his inaugural speech as the new president, Lahnert focused on the four goals of the 2023-25 strategic plan for ACEC Colorado, which include: advocacy for our members and our profession, supporting member firm success, organizational excellence and promoting the public value of our profession. He also noted how these goals benefit members and nonmembers, alike, with an emphasis on doing what is right for the industry as a whole. “The mission of ACEC Colorado continues to be our focus; and that mission is to ‘connect the professionals who improve the natural and built environments’…ACEC Colorado is an important conduit for us to reach out to our state and national legislators, and, in turn, ACEC provides us and our firms with valuable influence and insights,” concluded Lahnert. CFC Construction Promotes Sean Smith as Firm’s President CFC Construction, a member of the Big-D Family of Companies, is thrilled to announce that Sean Smith, an industry executive with more than two decades of experience, has been elevated to the role of president. Smith, who joined CFC Construction in 2018, was previously in charge of business development and also served as vice president of preconstruction. Smith has been a member of CFC executive team since 2020 and he will continue to provide consistent leadership while creating and capturing value on behalf of our clients. “In selecting Sean as our new President, we sought a visionary leader with a proven track record of success, a passion for our industry, and the ability to inspire and empower others. Sean embodies all these qualities and more,” said Big-D Companies CEO Cory Moore. “Throughout his career, he has consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, strategic thinking, and a deep understanding of our business landscape.” A native of upstate New York, Smith received a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Economics and Management from nearby Cornell University. Smith also serves on the Board of Directors for Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Colorado. In 2022, CFC Construction was acquired by Big-D Construction, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The firm, which was founded in 1977, continues to operate under the same name with its local management which includes founder EJ Olbright, who serves as the firm’s chairman.
12┃ Colorado Public Works Journal Here is why that matters: 1. Overdose deaths inflict a toll on families, workplaces, communities, and the state economy. 2. Year after year, a portion of working aged adults and youth is lost to overdoses. The opioid crisis has shrunk the possible workforce candidate pool for industries like construction and manufacturing. 69% of the decedents are male compared to 31% female (KFF). 3. Nationally, the age group most affected by overdoses is those aged between 25-34 years. Colorado matches this trend. State data for 2022 is not yet available. However, KFF data for 2021 confirms this trend for Colorado by age for opioid overdoses: Age Group < 24 years 25-34 35-44 45-54 55+ Number 178 367 335 192 217 Percent 14% 28% 26% 15% 17% 4. Prescription medications continue to be source of new persistent opioid use in construction. In Waging a Counterattack Against Opioids in the Workplace and at Home, the increased frequency of opioid prescriptions among construction workers is highlighted. Moreover, prescription doses tend to be 20% stronger and for 20% longer durations. This contributes to persistent opioid use leading to addiction. This article highlights eight First-Dose Prevention Strategies to decrease the risk of opioids at home and in the workplace. 5. Surgery is a leading gateway to new persistent opioid use. Depending on the type of surgery, between 8-18% of patients are affected. Opioid-sparing Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols use up to 90% less opioids than conventional surgical methods. It is imperative for employees and dependents enrolled in contractor health benefit programs to know non-opioid medications exist. Moreover, multi-modal pain relief can be more effective at controlling post-surgical pain than opioids and without the risk of addiction. Become informed and be an advocate for yourself or any other family member scheduled for any medical or dental surgical procedures. Why the Opioid Crisis Matters to Colorado Contractors (and your families) The opioid crisis has plagued the nation since the late 1990’s. Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 107,622 overdose deaths in 2021. This was a 15% increase over 2020 following a 30% increase in 2019. Between 2019 and 2020, deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids increased to over 71,000 from almost 58,000. In 2021, there were 1,289 opioid overdose deaths in Colorado, which accounted for 68% of all drug overdose deaths in the state. Across the U.S., opioid overdose deaths accounted for 75% of all drug overdose deaths in the country in 2021. According to KFF, from 2011 to 2021, the age-adjusted death rate due to opioid overdose increased from 8.0 to 21.7 per 100,000 lives in Colorado. Over the same period, the age-adjusted death rate in the US increased from 7.3 to 24.7 per 100,000. How Construction Is Impacted Hard By Opioids and Overdose Deaths On August 22, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new reporting showing overdose deaths by industry or occupation. Construction was shown to have the highest rate with 130.9 per 100,000 workers.
FALL 2023┃13 6. Drug deactivation products help properly dispose of leftover opioid pills after prescriptions for on- and off-thejob injuries and surgeries. Research shows 90% of patients receiving pain medication do not properly dispose of the leftover pills. This increases the household risk of overdose deaths. Conclusion Opioids impact every socioeconomic class and demographic status. Opioids are an equal opportunity destroyer of hope and lives. Opioid overdose deaths inflict a toll on families, workplaces, communities, and the state economy. The construction industry has been hit hard by opioids due to the high frequency of musculoskeletal injuries. Employers are encouraged to teach employees about the risks of opioids and to share resources to help employees and families protect themselves from opioids. Resources: Ahmad, FB, Rossen LM, and Sutton P. Provisional drug overdose death counts. National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm KFF. State Health Facts. More than 800 up-to-date health indicators at the state level can be mapped, ranked, and downloaded. Search opioid overdoses by state. https://www.kff.org/statedata/ Billock RM, Steege AL, Miniño A. (August 22, 2023). Drug overdose mortality by usual occupation and industry: 46 U.S. states and New York City, 2020. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 72 no 7. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2023https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr72/nvsr72-07.pdf Cal Beyer, CWP, is Vice President of Risk, Safety and Mental Wellbeing ethOs, a Holmes Murphy company. He’s been dedicated to construction risk and safety management since 1996. From 2014-2020, he was director of risk management and safety for a paving contractor in the Pacific Northwest. ID. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Cal was instrumental in the launch of the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Contact Beyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-307-7883.
14┃ Colorado Public Works Journal SPRING-SUMMER 2023┃43 BUILDING PROGRESS A MILE HIGH. Colorado builders aim higher. Aggregate Industries has become Holcim to help it happen. The trusted names you know are now part of Holcim, a global leader in building materials innovation and sustainability. Together, we’re working to develop new ways to build smarter, build greener and build progress for people and the planet. holcim.us Send Project ITB and RFQ’s to email@example.com A LEADER IN INNOVATIVE AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDING SOLUTIONS. #FollowUsForward
16┃ Colorado Public Works Journal Public Improvement decades in the making, Central 70 comes to fruition for the good of all By Sean O’Keefe congestion and remove the intrusive barrier adversely bisecting a series of north Denver neighborhoods. While adding new Express Lanes in both directions without disrupting traffic was a challenge, doing so was relatively simple compared to the radical realignment required on the western end of the work. “The PCL involved taking down the viaduct, shifting the alignment to the north, and rebuilding the highway 35 feet below grade,” says Hays of a plan that took 15 years to develop and another five to implement. “The crown jewel of the project is the four-acre park placed on top of the lowered section that rejoins the neighborhoods at grade. Collaboration was the key to everything we accomplished and CDOT is so proud of the incredible Public-Private Partnership we formed with Kiewit Meridiam Partners LLC.” With a combined cost of $1.2B, Central 70 was undertaken as a P3 program. Leveraging a Design-Build-Finance-OperateMaintain (DBFOM) delivery, fundamentally, P3 allowed CDOT to accomplish this Herculean scope of work. “This project is larger than our annual budget. So, to think we could afford to build this on our own is not realistic,” says Hays. The DBFOM structure used on Central 70 allows CDOT to own and maintain the highway and pay for it by making monthly availability payments to Kiewit Meridiam Partners akin Public Improvement decades in the making, Central 70 comes to fruition for the good of all • By Sean O’Keefe Infrastructure is never easy. As the fundamental fabric connecting people to place, purpose to productivity, and potential to possibilities in every direction, infrastructure can be understood as any system of public works or resources required to organize human activities. Very much a living organism, in the 21st Century infrastructure is the symbiotic experience of many intersecting interests in a crowded amalgam of changing circumstances, technologies, and social needs. Behind it all are the men and women who make it happen – the minds in the machine, the hands that do the work, and the operators who plow it, pump it, run it, and rebuild it day in and day out – public servants one and all. Bob Hays is such a figure. As the Project Director for the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) recently completed Central 70 project, he has had his hands full for some time. “The planning process for Central 70 stretches back to about 2000 when CDOT recognized that the elevated viaduct ramping I-70 over a two-mile stretch of north Denver was starting to fall apart,” says Hays who has been with CDOT for more than 20 years himself. “CDOT began considering alternatives to the bridge over a 15-year process that concluded with a Record of Decision to build a Partially Covered Lowered option or PCL.” Stretching a total of ten miles along I-70 from Chambers Road in Aurora to the National Western Center at Brighton Boulevard, the Central-70 Project was undertaken to alleviate commuter
FALL 2023┃17 to a mortgage. “Contracting this way allowed us to expedite a remarkable amount of civil infrastructure and to shift the burden of risk from the taxpayer to private industry. Whether it’s hazardous materials or utility issues, the team at Kiewit is far more adept at managing that risk than we are. P3 isn’t a silver bullet. For certain projects, however, it’s the only way things can get done.” Central 70 Public Improvements SAFETY – Wider shoulders on both sides make travel safer and improve drainage VITALITY – Improved surface roads increase efficient local access CHOICE – Express Lanes allow commuters to choose general purpose or toll travel CONNECTIVITY – At-grade connections between communities enhance livability MOBILITY – Mobility improvements benefit the highway, roadways, and pedestrian path in equal measure CAPACITY – CDOT’s right-of-way accounts for realistic future capacity expansions Matt Sanman, who served as the Kiewit Meridiam Partners’ Public Information Officer on Central 70, invested five years of his career orchestrating project communications on behalf of both the development and construction teams. Like Hays, Sanman appreciates the tremendous depth and breadth of expertise in virtually every aspect of planning, design, construction, and development required to pull off public improvements of this magnitude. “A project like Central 70 takes a lot of dedication from the right people. The ability to conceive, plan, design, finance, and build something like this safely without disrupting traffic is a lot more complicated than the traveling public could ever imagine,” says Sanman. Phasing the work was critical. Sanman points out some of the many constraints involved. “Traffic throughput dictated a lot of the rules. We weren’t allowed to have consecutive off-ramp closures at any time and no daytime mainline closures on I-70. During five years of
18┃ Colorado Public Works Journal construction, we were only allowed six full highway closures. So, during those events, we had to be extremely strategic about maximizing the amount of work that could get done on many different segments of the tenmile stretch simultaneously.” Just as important as the people affected by the work on the roadway, CDOT, and Kiewit Meridiam were equally invested in protecting the interests of the communities affected by the construction lining the corridor. Particularly the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, where I-70’s poorly placed aliment rose 30 feet into the air on a hulking green obstruction of steel and concrete. The structure separated families and friends on either side, darkened the streets, and rattled under 57 years of relentless use in Colorado’s harsh climate. “The viaduct had to come down, and of course, that was going to be very loud and dusty,” continues Sanman. “We used giant misters during demolition to keep dust out of the wind, and we worked around the community’s needs as well. When we took down a huge chunk of the bridge at night, we got hotel vouchers for all the people who lived in a certain vicinity, so they could get some sleep or have a night on the town.” Beyond removing the bridge, noise concerns were high for the duration of the project. To attenuate the disturbance, Kiewit built temporary sound walls in affected neighborhoods and used equipment with white noise backup alarms to keep the work zone experience confined to the highway. A 24hour noise hotline was set up to field complaints and a 30-minute resolution time was enforced in all cases. Sanman also notes the important role planning played in the project’s vital need to reduce environmental impacts as well. Nearly 100 percent of the demolished viaduct was recycled. Rebar was separated from concrete and the debris was crushed to become reused road base further east in I-70’s reconstruction. Just as the demolished roadway became a reusable commodity, so did the excavated soils Kiewit removed while digging down to the new alignment.
FALL 2023┃19 “During preconstruction, we did extensive soil testing across all areas planned for excavation. Some of what was being excavated could be used out east in industrial segments of the alignment; some of it could be used in residential areas; and some of it had to be disposed of,” says Sanman. “By doing this level of geotechnical investigation, we were able to pre-sort all of the dirt before removal, which made relocating it a one-step process for every load.” From Sanman’s desk, where the task was public information and team communications, what made Central 70 exceptional was the level of coordination among so many required to move the project forward in so many directions at once. Beyond CDOT and the P3 team, the City and County of Denver played a key role in expediting cooperation. A full-time staff of four from the Denver Building Department was embedded in the project office. There they worked side-by-side with engineers and builders to review traffic plans, road closures, safety measures, and countless other critical considerations continuously for the life of construction. Among a long list of input-level stakeholders, Central 70 can count three different railroads – Union Pacific, BNSF, and Denver Rock Island – as well as the National Western Center, Denver Water, Xcel, and just about every other utility provider in metro Denver. When Kiewit bid on the project, they determined that Central 70 had more utilities per acre than any project they had ever built. With a firm history reaching back to 1884, that’s saying something. “Utilities were very complicated. A lot of time was spent determining what was in the ground, what was in use, and what had been abandoned. This is more than 60 years of various infrastructures that took advantage of I-70’s alignment through north Denver. Some are long gone, some are not,” says Sanman. “A lot of the remaining utilities were reattached to bridges and crossings, where the infrastructure is accessible but mostly invisible.” Like concealing utilities, many of the solutions developed on Central 70 intend to make the highway less visible and disruptive to the communities impacted. However, when it came to leveraging the project’s potential to improve everyday lives with tangible benefits, Central 70 also sets a new standard of care. “As part of the federally approved Record of Decision, CDOT made nearly 150 community commitments that we agreed to deliver as part of Central 70,” says Hays. The list of commitments is distinguished by the number of investments in the lives of those most directly impacted by the project. CDOT mandated 20 percent local hiring based on a geographic radius of the project while launching a workforce development program and community training center to feed the work effort. The Home Improvement program provided storm windows, air conditioning units, and financial assistance for increased utility costs to more than 260 homes surrounding the project. “It is in giving back that this project makes the most difference,” finishes Hays. “CDOT also invested about $19 million in improvements to Swansea Elementary School including two new classrooms and HVAC upgrades. The new playground connects directly to the park over the highway. The principal told us that the school will have its first-ever field day on its own field in 2023.”
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FALL 2023┃21 Mark Jackson, APWA CO Chapter President APWA AWARDS 2023 Presented by Colorado Public Works Journal Winners of the 38th Annual Colorado Chapter American Public Works Association Awards My wife and I sat in horror watching recent newscasts of wildfire engulfing the small historic town of Lahaina in Maui. We’ve visited Lahaina several times and knew exactly the places being shown on TV. The sadness and worry for those affected shook us and have stuck with us in the following days. It was then that I started thinking that, sadly, this really isn’t new news. Cameron Peak, East Troublesome, Marshall, Paradise, wildfires in Colorado and the most recent Canadian wildfires all devastating urban and rural areas. Tropical Storm Hillary impacting Southern California and Nevada. Record snowfalls and rain/flood events. Heat indexes soaring around the world. Prolonged power grid failures leaving metro areas without electricity due to winter storm damage. Simply put, intense weather events have now become part of our life, including the world of Public Works. No matter your perspective or political leanings, the increasing frequency, duration, and devastation of climatic events can no longer be ignored. It makes me wonder and worry about just how prepared we are for the impacts of climate change on our services, programs, people, and responsibilities as Public Works professionals. I first thought about the impacts on our people and our communities. Have our employees been adequately trained in Incident Command protocols and are they prepared to mobilize and respond when emergency conditions are declared? How do we better protect our field crews during extended periods of extreme heat? Do we have feasible community evacuation plans and effective communication/notification technologies in place for disasters? I next thought of the impact of extreme climate events on our infrastructure. How will our roads hold up to excessive prolonged heat; will we develop new asphalt formulations that can better withstand significantly higher temperatures? How will roads, bridges, and underground infrastructure withstand increased risk of flooding and washout; can we better engineer them for resiliency? Do we need to re-think what a “normal” snow season looks like and requires for our plow team planning? Finally, I thought about the financial impact these events have on public budgets. How do communities, especially smaller agencies, adequately fund necessary preparations, materials, and projects that make us more resistant and ready to respond? I know our City’s snow budget has been over-taxed because of longer and more severe winters. Our fleet maintenance costs and demands on personnel have increased dramatically because of harsher and more frequent weather events. I’m grateful that Loveland’s City Council recently agreed to a Big Thompson River Corridor Maintenance Fee allowing us to proactively address future flood risks along this major river corridor running through our community. How many communities can step up and invest more in public safety and climate resiliency actions? Will taxpayers support funding increases? It seems certain we are living in a time where we need to re-think how we keep our communities and our Public Works teams safer from extreme climate events. We need to be planning now for how to adapt and become more resilient and prepared. Public Works can sometimes fall into the trap of only attending to busy day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. I’m not certain we have the luxury of putting off those resiliency plans and response preparation any longer. As Public Works professionals and as first responders, we have a responsibility to our employees and to our communities. Not just for now, but for the generations to come. President Mark Jackson, APWA CO Chapter President City of Loveland, CO Public Works Director