WESTMINSTER — Two days after cracks developed on the eastbound lanes of U.S. 36 in Westminster, the roadway was still shifting Sunday and officials had no timeline on when it would re-open.
The closure at Wadsworth Boulevard has delayed and detoured traffic from Boulder to Denver, and the delays should continue into the work week, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
CDOT will be offering free rides on the Regional Transportation District's Flatiron Flyer and Longmont/Denver bus routes on Monday and Tuesday, in both directions.
U.S. 36 buckled and cracked on Friday morning and shut down the eastbound lanes of the highway. Josh Laipply, CDOT's chief engineer, described the problem as a "pretty large slope failure," in which the soil beneath the road settled and shifted and caused the highway to buckle.
When engineers examined the soil under the road on Friday night, they found a large void in the road's base, between 150-200 feet long and about 10 feet wide.
Why is US36 closed? THIS.— Jason Gruenauer (@JGonTV) July 15, 2019
The view of the highway after a landslide of clay underneath caused the road to crack and then shift a matter of feet
Live reports on @DenverChannel all morning with detours via @Denver7Traffic pic.twitter.com/9dIi8Q0J6D
Crews over the weekend were working to stabilize the soil by drilling concrete caissons into the ground, Laipply said, but the soil continued to shift and settled, making the repair process difficult.
Laipply said Saturday that CDOT might be able to open the inside shoulder of the highway, but he advised against making plans to drive on the road. Laipply recommended that drivers take State Highway 7 or State Highway 93 out of Boulder.