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CDOT to Improve Fire Protection in Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel

December 3, 2014 - Central/Eastern Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - DENVER/MOUNTAIN CORRIDOR – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has contracted a Design Build team for the installation of a Fixed Fire Suppression System (FFSS) for the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel (EJMT).

This $20 million project includes a water deluge system, a fiber optic linear heat detection system and a new drainage system. During this project, minimal impacts to traffic are expected.

“The EJMT is one of Colorado’s most important assets and we must protect the public who utilizes it as well as the structure itself from long-term damage which could result in billions of dollars-worth of damage,” said Tony DeVito, CDOT Region Transportation Director. “We know that any closure of the tunnel would have negative repercussions that would reverberate along the I-70 mountain corridor, which is why this project is so important.”

While CDOT currently has firefighting capability at the EJMT complex, this project would feature an intelligent linear heat detection system that can accurately identify a fire within feet of its location and subsequently activate the corresponding FFSS deluge zone, bringing water in from an existing supply system on the west side of Loveland Pass. The detection system will also activate cameras so the EJMT onsite control room personnel can view and better assess a fire event. The uniqueness of this design is that the majority of the installation will occur above the traffic lanes in the tunnel, resulting in little to no impact to motorists below.

The Design Build team is led by Barnard Construction, supported by Rondinelli Life Safety, BCER Engineering, Western States Fire Protection and Systems Group. The team conducted successful live fire tests at the Boulder Regional Fire Training Facility in November, with the final design of the FFSS and other supporting infrastructure expected to be complete by early 2015 and construction beginning in early spring of 2015. Project completion is scheduled for December 2015.

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