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Transportation

CDOT reaches $14 million settlement over partial 2019 collapse of U.S. 36

The settlement covers the majority of the $17 million it cost for CDOT to repair the stretch of eastbound lanes near Wadsworth Boulevard

A crack that emerged in the deck of the westbound lanes of U.S. 36 on July 12, 2019, was declared a full-blown sink hole as the supporting earthen structure slowly collapsed into Westminster's Lower Church Ranch open space on July 15, 2019. The damage is northwest of a bridge over an active rail line near West 104th Avenue in Westminster. (Doug Conarroe, Special to The Colorado Sun)
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The Colorado Department of Transportation has reached a $14 million settlement with three companies in connection with the partial collapse of U.S. 36 between Denver and Boulder in 2019.

The settlement covers the majority of the more than $17 million it cost CDOT to repair the stretch of eastbound lanes near Wadsworth Boulevard after a bridge over train tracks began to collapse, snarling traffic.

Dramatic images of the damaged highway dominated newscasts in Colorado for weeks. For days, people sat in lawn chairs near the Church Ranch Road Park-N-Ride, watching as concrete panels and soil slipped into the dry lake below.

The $14 million “covers everything but an additional $3.5 million investment CDOT made to further expedite the (emergency repair) project,” the agency said Friday afternoon.

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The settlement was finalized in May, according to a 12-page document reviewed by The Sun, and was reached between CDOT and Ames-Granite A Joint Venture, HDR Engineering, and Kleinfelder.

The largest share of the settlement dollars will come from Ames-Granite A Joint Venture, the contractor hired in 2012 by CDOT to complete its U.S. 36 Express Lanes project. The project included a total rebuild of the busy highway between Denver and Boulder.

HDR and Kleinfelder will each pay $4 million.

HDR, which is based in Nebraska, led design for the U.S. 36 project. Kleinfelder, which also goes by Kleinfelder West, is based in California.

According to the settlement, first reported by The Denver Post on Friday afternoon, CDOT asserted a claim against Ames-Granite A Joint Venture, who in turn asserted claims against HDR. HDR, in turn, asserted claims against Kleinfelder.

MORE: Read the settlement.

The partial collapse happened in July 2019. As part of the settlement, CDOT and the companies involved agreed not to disparage each other and agreed to issue a joint statement for public release acknowledging the resolution.


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