Drivers, cyclists impacted by U.S. 36 collapse; CDOT selects contractor

Data pix.

DENVER -- The Colorado Department of Transportation has selected Kraemer North America as the contractor to handle emergency repairs of U.S. 36.

Eastbound lanes have collapsed in recent days as a result of shifting soil underneath the road. This stretch of the highway was only built five years ago.

“We are pleased to have selected Kraemer so that we can transition to beginning permanent repairs to U.S. 36 eastbound,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew.

The selection comes as CDOT deals with impacts to drivers and cyclists.

Eastbound U.S. 36 traffic has be redirected to westbound lanes near the collapse, causing delays, especially during rush hour.

Cyclists who use the bike trail on U.S. 36 are also being impacted. Part of the trail has now collapsed as well.

”Usually, I just go right across to 36, but it’s all closed off, so I’m looking for a new route,” said cyclist Alec Prouty.

Prouty was forced to carry his bike across railroad tracks Wednesday -- blazing his own bike trail to Boulder.

“Hopefully, they fix this soon,” Prouty said.

This comes as state lawmakers promise new scrutiny over contractors and CDOT.

“It started bad and got worse,” said State Rep. Matt Gray, chairman of the House Transportation Committee.

Gray promised possible hearings if answers aren’t given regarding why the collapse happened -- especially regarding what was known about the soil underneath the key highway connecting Denver and Boulder.

“My questions I have left are: what went wrong? Who was responsible? And how are we going to make taxpayers whole for this?" Gray said. “If we miscalculated that and underestimated what the soils were, there is going to be accountability for that."

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