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South Platte River Restoration Project Guided by a Solid Safety Plan

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he following project won the 2012 safety award in Mountain States’ Best Projects competition for the Colorado-Wyoming region.

Best Colorado Safety Project

South Platte River and Lakewood Gulch Improvement Project  

Courtesy of Matrix Design
The project removed obstructions on the river and reconstructed the entire river channel through the floodplain section in west Denver to contain a possible 100-year flood.
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Denver

This river restoration project required extensive earthwork and environmental restoration for flood control, recreation and habitat creation. The result of a massive local effort, the project removed obstructions on the river and reconstructed the entire river channel through the floodplain section in west Denver to contain a possible 100-year flood.

The river improvements required significant coordination and cooperation among Denver Public Works, Urban Drainage & Flood Control District, Denver Parks, the Regional Transportation District, Xcel Energy, Denver Water and others. Reduction of flood hazards on the river and in nearby Lakewood Gulch was instrumental in allowing construction of RTD’s new FasTracks Light Rail West Corridor line outside or above the new 100-year floodplains.

The project team performed a job safety analysis at least daily and whenever the tasks changed. Workers, supervisors and safety managers used this tool to review the tasks at hand and identify potential hazards. Methods to mitigate the hazards were also discussed. Weekly “Toolbox” safety meetings focused on specific topics such as fall protection, excavations or hazard communication.

Lawrence Construction, the general contractor, conducted several hazard-specific training sessions throughout the project. Asbestos awareness and identification was a key element of the job and training on this topic was provided three times throughout the project. Other training sessions included assured grounding, trenching and excavation, fall protection, erosion control and stormwater discharge issues.

Owner: City and County of Denver

Architect: Matrix Design, Denver

General Contractor: Lawrence Construction Co., Littleton, Colo.

This project was submitted for the safety award by Matrix Design.

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