Extensive Homeless Camp Discovered Inside Bridge

By Jennifer Brice

DENVER (CBS4)– An elaborate homeless camp was uncovered in a surprising place: inside a bridge at 40th and Quebec.

Crews with the City of Denver cleaned up the area on Friday, removing everything from large rolls of carpet, furniture, and bags of trash from underneath the bridge near the busy intersection.

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Sources tell CBS4’s Jennifer Brice that about 150 propane tanks and candles were removed.

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Ben Siller, an Environmental Protection Investigator with Denver, responded to the camp. He says the propane is just the beginning of their concerns for safety.

“Of course that’s a danger to the inhabitants living inside but there are the other hazards as well: drug use, syringes and the spread of diseases,” said Siller.

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Inside the bridges are a series of tunnels where people have been living. Crews escorted out at least two people on Friday morning. With the amount of stuff found inside the bridge, crews believe even more people could be living there.

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Megan Hughes, with the city’s Department of Environmental Health, says with every cleanup effort, human services are brought in to help.

“We have our community outreach people coming out to provide whatever kind of services we can offer to them,” said Hughes.

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The Department of Environmental Health says a transit worker made the discovery and the cleanup has been going on for about a week.

What happened recently under an interstate in Atlanta is exactly what the City of Denver wants to avoid.

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The massive fire caused a bridge to collapse on Interstate 85. A homeless man has been accused of smoking crack before starting the fire.

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In Denver, it’s unknown how many bridges may have homeless living inside.

Siller says the goal is to clean them up quickly for public safety, “There’s all kind of dangers, either to the integrity of the bridge to the people nearby and of course the people that are in there.”

Sources say the cleanup may continue into Monday.

Jennifer Brice is a reporter with CBS4 focusing on crime and courts. Follow her on Facebook or on Twitter @CBS4Jenn.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Robert Chase says:

    I-85 collapsed because the State of Georgia stored a large amount of flammable material underneath it.

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