WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Crews have finished installing 6,000 geofoam blocks on eastbound U.S. 36. Repairs to the road are expected to be finished by early October.
The Colorado Department of Transportation and its contractor, Kraemer North America, have been working for several weeks to rebuild the eastbound wall. Crews continue installing concrete caissons, which will be drilled down to bedrock to ensure stability of the wall foundation. Approximately 70 of the 141 concrete caissons have been drilled so far, according to CDOT.
By Friday, Sept. 20, crews will complete the final load distribution slab pour. Crews are expected to start pouring the concrete pavement for the roadway next week.
Geofoam is a lightweight backfill that reduces pressure and stress to the underlying soil. CDOT officials say it is also very strong and can safely support highway loading. The geofoam is being produced by Insulfoam, which has a local plant in Aurora.
The survey team said there continues to be no movement on the westbound side of U.S. 36. Two travel lanes remain open in both directions.
In addition to opening traffic to the original alignment, crews will install a temporary bike path that will open to the public in October. Additional work on the wall, final bike path, and fence is expected to last through December.
• The roadway started to crack July 11-12 and the cracks got significantly worse as the roadway shifted, causing the part of the road to cave in and the retaining wall to fall apart.
• The westbound side and adjacent bridge in the area are safe and in good condition. The bridge has its own support system entirely, with a steel concrete foundation that goes deep into the bedrock. The bridge has been separated from the damaged section of the roadway by CDOT’s bridge crew.
• The damage is isolated to a specific area of eastbound US 36.
• In an abundance of caution, the survey team continues to monitor the damaged section of roadway.
• The bike path over the railroad bridge is also closed for safety reasons. A detour is in place.
• The new traffic shift is in place on the westbound side. The Express Lane and shoulder in this area are operating as general purpose lanes for eastbound traffic (No tolls are applied to this section, but Express Lanes are operating as normal outside of the traffic configuration)
• Travel in this area will be slower than usual, so motorists are advised to expect some delays and give themselves extra time when traveling the corridor during peak periods.