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Signs of Construction: More than just walls, they keep you safe

With traffic running adjacent to light rail throughout most of the Aurora Line/I-225 Rail corridor, crews have to install ballast barrier walls for protection.

Aurora Line/I-225 Rail contractor Kiewit Infrastructure Company is doing this through a process called "slip forming." Once the rebar (reinforcing steel) is in place, crews run the slip form machine along the future wall, which simultaneously places and shapes the wall with concrete. After it's poured, it has to cure (gain strength) for up to 28 days before the fencing can be installed on top. These walls average 3 feet in height; the fencing is 4- to 6-feet tall.

These walls serve as a protection barrier to ensure no cars enter the light rail tracks. Slip forming is a much faster and more efficient way to install walls along the corridor. Crews can pour up to 10 feet of wall per minute. A more expensive and slower process is to hand set these walls, which is when a concrete truck pours the walls and then the crews shape/form the walls by hand.

You can check out the slip forming operation along Fitzsimons Parkway near 17th Avenue.

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