Noise from the project will not exceed Boulder County noise standards.

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Fact.

Denver Water is committed to monitoring noise impacts and conforming to all applicable local codes and regulations. The noise study, performed by independent experts, finds all work can be completed without exceeding noise standards set by local authorities. We will work with neighbors and use best management practices and mitigation technologies to reduce noise impacts to the greatest extent possible.

The project will increase light pollution both short-term and permanent impacts

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Fact AND Fiction.

During construction, lighting will be required to perform nighttime operations safely and in conformance with OSHA standards. These lights will be downcast to minimize the impact to the community, and removed at the end of construction. Denver Water has no plans to increase amount of lighting of the completed facility beyond what exists today.

Denver Water will keep Gross Dam Road in good condition throughout construction.

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Fact.

Currently, Boulder County maintains Gross Dam Road (GDR) from Hwy 72 to the railroad tracks and Denver Water maintains the road from the tracks through to Flagstaff Road. If allowed by Boulder County, during construction Denver Water will maintain the entirety of Gross Dam Road from Hwy 72 to Flagstaff Road. It’s critical that we ensure efficient transfer of construction-related materials, so it is in our interest for this road to be in excellent condition. Maintenance operations will include regular grading, placement of environmentally friendly road stabilizing materials and frequent treatment to mitigate against dust.

Commuter traffic all across Boulder County and City of Boulder will increase during construction.

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Fiction.

The primary access route to the site will be via Hwy 72 to Gross Dam Road. Denver Water is considering plans to encourage carpooling, use an employee shuttle, etc. We’re also collecting public input to gather preferences about limiting materials hauling to certain days of the week and specific windows of time. Hauling will not take place on Hwy 72 when students are being bused, during typical morning and evening commutes, and the designated haul route does not go through the City of Boulder or use Flagstaff Rd.

Trucks in the canyon are going to make it unsafe for children on school buses.

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Fiction.

We’re committed to avoiding hauling during periods when children are riding on school buses.

The project hasn’t adequately studied impacts to Walker Ranch Open Space.

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Fiction.

This issue was studied thoroughly and there will be no direct impacts to the Walker Ranch Open Space or any other Boulder County Open Space land ( Final Environmental Impact Statement, Chapter 5, page 5-450.). However, there will be short-term, indirect effects to users of Walker Ranch due to noise and visual effects of the construction activities. In addition, Per the Final Environmental Impact Statement, Chapter 5, page 5-290, “The Hawkin Gulch/Walker Ranch/Upper Eldorado Canyon Environmental Conservation Area (ECA), located below the dam, would not incur impact under the Proposed Action or any other action alternatives.”

Highway 72 is not capable of handling the hauling traffic.

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Fiction.

We’ve met with CDOT representatives who certified that Highway 72 is rated for tractor-trailer haul trucks and is capable of handling the increased traffic. We also performed a real-world study and found fully-loaded haul trucks were able to maintain posted speed limits within the canyon through the end of the haul route at Gross Dam. See the “Construction Traffic Documents” entry and videos documenting the study here.

Property owners and residents who will be most impacted will not see a benefit of the project.

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Fact.

There’s no sense denying that because we do not serve water to the communities around Gross Reservoir, they will not see a direct benefit of greater storage. There will be short-term impacts to local residents. That’s one reason why we’re working so hard to make commitments and concessions to reduce the impact of the project on the local community. However, Gross Reservoir is a tremendous recreational amenity to those in the area and will continue to be so during and after construction.

Trucks in the canyon are going to make my commute miserable.

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Fiction.

We’ve run the numbers and can avoid typical morning and evening commutes if that is something the community would prefer. We’ve also committed to not haul during hours students are being bused to- and from-school.

Denver Water has guaranteed access to Gross Dam Road.

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Fact.

Safety is our number one priority, and Denver Water is committed to maintaining public access to Gross Dam Road from Hwy 72 through to Flagstaff Road throughout construction. Flaggers may be used at key points (narrow points, blind curves) during materials hauling to ensure safety. In times of emergency, we will fully cooperate with, enable and assist first responders as needed.

Denver Water’s hauling plans provide no meaningful mitigation.

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Fiction.

Based on community input, we’ve found ways to reduce by 75 percent the number of truck trips required for hauling materials by producing all the required aggregate from an on-site quarry. We’ve committed to not haul on Hwy 72 while students are being bused, or during common morning and evening commute times. All trucks and operators will be properly licensed by the state and all drivers will pass a project-specific safe driving course prior to hauling their first load. The latest technology will be used to monitor truck speeds and dash video cameras will be mandatory to record driver behavior and professionalism.

Hauling over Crescent Park Drive will create an unsafe condition.

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Fact.

That’s why we’ve committed to NOT use Crescent Park Drive for materials hauling or transport of construction equipment, and the same goes for Flagstaff Road. Materials and construction equipment will be delivered to the site via Hwy 72, with flaggers in place at the intersection of 72 and Gross Dam Road. They’ll also be in place at other critical spots along Gross Dam Road where there are tight turning radiuses and points of limited visibility.

Haul trucks on Highway 72 will make it unsafe.

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Fiction.

All vehicles serving the project will be certified by the state as safe to operate, and drivers will be required to pass a project-specific safe driving course before they are allowed to haul their first load for the project. We’ll also require the use of dash cameras in all trucks and will perform random, surprise spot checks of their drives to make sure they are operating safely. Finally, we will be funding increased traffic patrols by Boulder and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Offices to improve safety for all who use Highway 72.

The semi-trucks Denver Water used in its hauling study were empty, calling into question whether trucks to be used during construction will be able to maintain speed in the canyon.

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Fiction.

We used a total of 10 trucks in our hauling study – the first five we sent up the hill were fully loaded to mimic the real-world hauling scenario. The study found that fully-loaded trucks of the type we plan to use will be able to maintain posted speeds in the canyon, make all the turns on the haul route safely, etc. More information about our hauling study can be found here under the drop-down in construction traffic documents.