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Signs of Construction: The Life of a Night Owl

Work on the Aurora Line/I-225 Rail project continues full steam ahead with crews working diligently to complete 10.5 miles of new light rail. You might be familiar with the activity during the day, but have you ever thought about the work that goes on at night?

Some workers operate on a sleep-all-day, work-all-night schedule. Most of us work a 9-to-5 and may not know the ins and outs of working at night, but there are many in the construction industry who have become accustomed to this lifestyle.

Grading foreman Kevin Hoy is one of those who has adjusted to the night shift world.

His favorite part about working this schedule are the cooler working conditions in the summer, less traffic and the camaraderie with the group of people with which he has the privilege of working.

While the day shift is a large part of the project's success, overnight work is equally as important.

"I think the night shift is critical to a project to ensure day shift operations and production are reached and running smoothly," said Hoy. "It also gives us the opportunity to do roadway tasks without the extreme traffic that runs during the day time."

One of the main differences between night and day shifts are the challenges with lighting, shadows, passersby and fatigue from the abnormal sleep schedule.

According to Hoy, the most difficult aspect of the schedule is adapting to life on weekends and on vacations. Hoy also mentioned the difficulty adjusting to free time - especially with family.

"You grow accustomed to staying up all night. However, I have to try and sleep when they do to maximize the time I get to spend with them," said Hoy.

Safety is a top priority for RTD and its contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure Company. Hoy and his crew discuss hazards and potential incidents before they start each shift and again when they arrive to the worksite.

As drivers and pedestrians travelling near the Aurora Line/I-225 Rail alignment, it's important to be vigilant of crews working the night shift, as visibility can be impaired. Remember to avoid any distracted driving and follow message boards and signage to alternate routes.

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