CDOT: Repairs Will Start Soon On Saggy Section Of US 36

Hwy 36 Embankment Failure HV
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A massive section of embankment that carries the Boulder Turnpike, Hwy 36, over railroad tracks near Church Ranch Boulevard, collapsed. Colorado Department of Transportation officials say the collapse was likely caused by water getting underneath the roadway.

The Colorado Department of Transportation says it will hire a contractor by the end of the week to start repairs on a collapsed section of U.S. 36 between Denver and Boulder.

"We anticipate in the next several days awarding a contract," said CDOT spokesman Matt Inzeo on Tuesday afternoon.

The agency still needs to figure out who will pay for repairs, among other pressing questions. But Inzeo said the magnitude of the problem -- more than 100,000 vehicles use this stretch of U.S. 36 near Church Ranch Boulevard every day -- has meant that those have had to go unanswered for now.

"Our focus has also had to remain on public safety and on traffic operations for a longer period of time than say, after a snow storm or a crash where the incident occurs and then we can shift gears into addressing it," he said.

Inzeo said the agency doesn't know yet how long work will take or how much it will cost. Preliminary work, like the delivery of materials to the job site, will start by the end of the week.