DENVER (KDVR) — The contractor in the major Interstate 70 reconstruction project through Denver was fined in a summer flood that stranded at least 11 people and damaged property and homes nearby.

Kiewit faces a $45,000 penalty from the Colorado Department of Transportation, according to the company. The company blamed incorrect computer settings for the pumps, which failed to turn on automatically during heavy rainfall on Aug. 7.

Several people were stranded in their vehicles on the flooded interstate. The water intruded into homes nearby.

Kiewit released this statement on Tuesday:

“Our investigation of the August malfunction determined that computer settings that manage the pumps were set incorrectly,” Kiewit stated. “That has been corrected and the main pump system and the backup system have been tested frequently and have effectively managed rainfall since the August event. We continue to monitor the system to ensure its continued reliability. CDOT has issued a $45,000 penalty which will be deducted from KMP’s substantial completion payment.”


I-70 reconstruction project

CDOT has said the pumps were designed to handle a “100-year storm event.” At the time, both CDOT and Kiewit said the drainage system was incomplete but said the pumps still worked as intended after they were turned on manually.

The Central 70 Project completely redeveloped a 10-mile stretch of I-70, from Interstate 25 to Chambers Road, and removed an aging viaduct in the area. It lowered a stretch of the interstate, which is where the floodwaters collected between York and Steele streets.

The cost of the Central 70 project is $1.2 billion.