Massive Excavation Project Required No Vibrations From Construction

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | January 2013, Vol. 68, No. 1

Iron Woman Construction and Environmental Services is a Native American-owned, multi-disciplinary, heavy haul trucking and underground utilities company. Iron Woman employs a team of highly-qualified professionals with extensive experience in transportation, environmental remediation, and utilities.

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Denver Union Station: A Glorious History

Railroads played a key role in the settlement of the Western United States, and Denver Union Station has been the central terminal for rail traffic since the first station was built on the present site in 1881.

As the population of Colorado and other western states increased, rail traffic through Denver kept pace. After the original Union Station was destroyed by fire, it was immediately replaced by a new building. As did the first, the second facility had a clock tower. That building subsequently was demolished and the central portion rebuilt with a lower profile – the Beaux-Arts landmark that remains today was completed in 1914.

The 1920s and 30s were the glory days of Denver Union Station, a time when as many as 80 trains a day passed through the station. In the 1940s, many of those trains carried soldiers fighting in World War II. Even though rail passenger service was declining, Denver Union Station accommodated more passengers than Stapleton Airport until 1958.

Then came a period when the elegant station was a quiet ghost of what it had been. Its great waiting room was often empty, accommodating only passengers for two Amtrak trains that passed through on a regular basis.

However, that time is past, as the Denver Union Station project passes its halfway point with the historic station the keystone of a modern transportation hub emerging that combines multiple modes of transportation.

A Challenging Project

The Denver Union Station project has involved numerous challenges, one being the construction of an 11,000-gallon capacity underground vault to capture and store rainwater in close proximity to the historic Union Station Building.

The first steps of digging the large excavation for the vault required shoring not only to protect the workers, but to prevent soil from shifting and damaging the 98-year-old building.