U.S. 36 detours helping some local businesses attract new customers

WESTMINSTER, Colo. – Businesses around the damaged section of U.S. 36 are hoping to see a silver lining from the influx of traffic on local roads.

Traffic is flowing in both directions thanks to a Colorado Department of Transportation workaround that shifted eastbound drivers onto the westbound portion of the highway. However, the diversion creates a bottleneck between Church Ranch and Wadsworth boulevards that some drivers want to avoid.

Suggested detours include Colorado 93 to westbound 6th Avenue, Wadsworth to Interstate 70 and Highway 7 to I-25. But many drivers are utilizing local detours to get around the crumbling section of U.S. 36 too.

Some are finding their way into local businesses they otherwise would not have visited.

“I don’t know that I’ve seen a big change in that as far as people staying longer or people just stopping in here. But definitely the people that live in the neighborhood who work in Denver, that work in Boulder, they’ve been affected by it. So they’ve been coming in here to relieve some of the stress,” Damien Berger said.

Berger is a bartender at The Keg in Westminster. He says for the past week, nearly every customer has brought up U.S. 36 in conversation.

“Just frustration, mostly,” he said.

The restaurant is hoping more customers decide to drop in for dinner to avoid rush hour or traffic jams during construction.

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