Crews continue to clean up Interstate 25 on Wednesday after a train derailment Sunday sent coal and train cars across highway between Colorado Springs and Pueblo. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis toured the crash site Wednesday and said both directions should be open by Thursday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Governor's Office)

The section of Interstate 25 between Pueblo and Colorado Springs that has been closed since Sunday because of coal cars that crashed onto the highway after a train derailed should be completely open by Thursday, Colorado’s governor said Wednesday.

The southbound lanes reopened Wednesday at about 2 p.m., according to the Colorado State Patrol. The northbound lanes should reopen no later than Thursday afternoon, Gov. Jared Polis said after he toured the crash site north of Pueblo.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators said Tuesday preliminary indications suggest part of the track was broken and the bridge over the interstate collapsed after the train cars derailed.

A 60-year-old truck driver from California was killed in the resulting crash. No other injuries were reported.

“Our top priority is to get the highway back open so that people can continue traveling safely between Colorado Springs and Pueblo, and the rest of the state,” Polis said. “Though the investigation is still ongoing, it remains clear that investments in rail are needed now more than ever and Colorado has been working for months to take advantage of historic safety and rail funding from the federal government.” 

The derailment happened Sunday afternoon around 3:30 p.m., and the broken rail was east of the bridge over I-25, the NTSB said. 

Federal investigators are also looking at the adequacy of prior track inspections and the condition and maintenance history of the bridge. The federal agency will release its preliminary report within 30 days. A final report could take up to two years to be completed.

David Krause has been in journalism since high school and his first published story was in the Bethany (Okla.) Tribune-Review in September 1982. He joined the Sun in June 2022. David was the editor at The Aspen Times from 2017 to 2022, and...