Moffat Tunnel

What do you get when you combine snow, high winds, and an active railroad facility—all tucked in a remote area at the base of a mountain? The Moffat Tunnel, a Douglass Colony project from our client the Union Pacific Railroad.

At Douglass Colony we pride ourselves on being the ones to say yes when others say no, despite how hard it may be—and this project was no different.

Technically in Rollinsville, Colorado, the Moffat Tunnel project had a number of challenges from the get-go. Thanks to its interesting location at 9,200’ in an area with extremely high winds gusts year round, the access to the building and work around it required additional precautions. This involved processes such as the use of custom scaffold platforms and an 85’ manlift as well as great safety measures.

What’s more, the tunnel is found along a dirt road with very old overhead bridges which further impeded its access. These old bridges were only 11’ tall so trucks hauling material could not make it all the way to the site and had to be unloaded by forklift and reloaded on smaller trucks/trailers and driven up 6 miles to the site in multiple, time consuming trips. Also due to bridge heights, no crane could be utilized on the project and all material had to be staged on the ground across the active railroad tracks from the building. DCG was required to use a 12,000 lb forklift to move material, equipment and debris across the active railroad tracks to and from the building on a daily basis.

Additionally, because of the weather, temps, and snow, the crews could only work 6 months out of the year, causing this project to span over two summers, from May 2018 through November 2019.

But despite it all, Douglass Colony succeeded in the 14,200 square foot, nearly 100% custom roof replacement (with a Sarnafil 60mil G410 PVC fully adhered roofing system, no less) by completing these tasks:

• Modifying installation and attachment of the roofing insulation to the structural deck after grout and deck repairs, especially once numerous structural damage to the very old, deteriorated and failing concrete at the roof deck and at the exterior parapet walls around the roof perimeter were discovered.

• Creating a safe work zone with all areas of the roof being small and requiring 100% fall protection at all times. As well as project specific safety training and an examination requirement before anyone was able to work on site.

• Implementing critical and time consuming asbestos abatement practices for the safety of the employees and proper disposal of the material.

• Installing a perimeter fencing around the roof to ensure no material or debris was blown on to the active railroad tracks.

• Complying and collaborating with many regulations, specific needs, and on a tight timeline despite the ability to only work 6 months out of the year.

• Completing a 24,400 square feet of wall coating with a 2-coat Karnak coating system process consisting of power washing existing concrete walls, use of expanding spray foam to fill large voids, installment of 3-course flashing to joints, cracks, transitions and other details, application of a primer, installment of 2 coats of the Karnak coating with an additional coat at several horizontal surfaces.

• Successfully restoring a 90 year-old building without interrupting even one day of work as the facility was fully active with an average of 15 trains traveling through each day.