RTD employee uses stay-at-home time to finish decades-long project

Safety Compliance Officer Matt Cross used his COVID‐19 pandemic stay-at-home requirement time to complete a decades-long project. 

Cross’ grandfather logged and built log homes near Colorado Springs in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He found a section of a fir tree that was not going to be used and had it cut in half and down to size. His plan was to make benches. When Matt’s grandfather passed, his dad took the logs and planned to finish making them, but he was unable to complete the project.

“This was my weekend project when the stay-at-home orders went into place,” said Matt. “While [making the benches] was work, it was not ‘work-work’. I have been at the office during the entire response of the pandemic (I am the only safety staff assigned full time to Light Rail Operations). I would turn on some music (sometimes smooth jazz, sometimes a mix of 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s and newer). It was my mental break from the COVID-19 response and day-to-day ‘stuff’ taking place at RTD.”

While Matt had the logs prepped and the legs built some time ago, he ended up storing the logs and legs in his garage for years. He worked to build the benches from the beginning of April to May 9, mostly on weekends and a couple weekday evenings. 

For now, he has the two benches he completed in his backyard. One may end up on the deck once the deck rehab is finished. Eventually, he will give the benches to his daughter.

“This was the perfect time to finish the project. It only took 75‐80 years, but they are complete,” he said.