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Thursday, November 9

Dust and vibrations along the US 281 project

Excess dust and feeling vibrations from excavation are common occurrences near construction, but can certainly be tiresome for those directly affected. We have heard your concerns about these issues along the US 281 corridor, and we want you to know that we’re working to mitigate its effects on you.
Today we'll discuss the issues directly - including their causes - and our solutions to lessen the impact on you.

Why all the dust and vibration?
Excess dust occurs during the excavation of rock when equipment creates fine particles that could easily become airborne with wind. Simple enough, yeah?
Vibrations felt from construction are caused by heavy equipment (and even traffic) using the roadway. The majority of the US 281 roadway sits on rock bedding. Any movements or loads on the that rock bed are easily transferred creating vibrations. The closer your home is to the construction site, the more likely it is that you may feel vibrations. This gets amplified when crews start digging and milling layers of rock to develop the road bed.

How are we minimizing the impact?
Preventing the creation of excess dust - dust abatement - is a priority on all our projects. There are several ways we can do this, and we are not limiting ourselves to just one. For instance, running extra water trucks along the site to moisturize the soil keep it from kicking up with wind has been somewhat effective. We use non-potable water wherever possible for this. Our construction crews and project team will also monitor wind speeds and directions prior to and during work to avoid sending dust downwind.
As for vibration ... well, we've already had Webber move some of its work to crush rock pulled from the ground away from sensitive work area. You should know we will not use any blasting techniques to break rock along the US 281 corridor as part of this project. Unfortunately, some of the vibration that will come when we use compactors to harden the layers of the roadway are going to be unavoidable.

When will these problems go away?
Once the US 281 frontage roads are complete – late 2018 - most concerns related to excess dust and vibration along the corridor should subside. At that point traffic will move outward, onto the new frontage road lanes, and construction activity will move to the main lanes area minimizing the chance of feeling vibrations. While the next phase of work on the project will still include activities causing vibration, those impacts will be way less than what you're feeling now. Since that stage of work involves significantly less excavation we also minimize the potential for construction-related dust.

Your takeaway

First of all ... we get it! We're hearing about the concerns and we want you to know these issues are a routine conversation on this project. Webber and our project management team continually work to mitigate construction-related impacts on those who live, work and play in the area.
If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.