By Michael Abeyta

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – On Saturday eastbound U.S. Highway 36 was closed from Wadsworth Boulevard to Church Ranch Boulevard as crews with the Colorado Department of Transportation tried to determine what caused a large crack in the roadway to develop on Friday.

(credit: CBS)

“First we started with tearing off the top and during that time we had to shut down that one lane that we had going through on U.S. 36 eastbound just for safety during our work,” says CDOT Chief Engineer Josh Laipply. “We pulled off the top concrete and saw some significant settlement. We’ve taken some borings with a drill rig from the top down to examine the soil, what’s happening and why things are settling.

“Once we obtained that information through the night last night we moved down to the slope adjacent to U.S. 36 and we’ve taken some borings and some information about the soils down there as well.”

(credit: CBS)

The conclusion: moist soil under the highway caused by all the rain we’ve been getting caused a slope failure which led to a void in the road base between 150 and 200 feet long and about 10 feet wide.

“We are looking at a pretty large slope failure on U.S. 36,” says Laipply.

Crews are now working to stop the slope from sliding and get at least part of the roadway opened but that might take a while.

“I don’t anticipate the road will be open by the work week,” Laipply said.

(credit: CBS)

Even if they can get one lane open, this is going to be a long term restoration project.

“The problem with this one is the incident is ongoing. It’s still moving we haven’t stopped the movement from happening,” says Laipply.

So if you are headed from Boulder to Denver any time this weekend or even early in the work week, you might want to find another route until CDOT has finished their work.

“Try to take state Highway 7. Try to take state Highway 93,” Laipply said.

Michael Abeyta