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Who's responsible for US 36 fix? Colorado lawmakers want to find out

Just like the road deck of the Boulder Turnpike, state lawmakers promise this process will be so transparent, you can see through it.

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — While speeds have slowed on US 36 near the site of the collapsing bridge just west of Church Ranch Boulevard, the search for answers has sped up.

On Tuesday morning, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) completed a traffic shift, moving two lanes of eastbound traffic onto the westbound lanes between Wadsworth and Church Ranch Boulevards.

The road deck that would normally carry eastbound traffic continues to crack. You can see through it to the dirt. Some might call that transparent.

"On behalf of the rest of the General Assembly, we want answers. We want accountability and transparency as to what happened and why. And ultimately wherever it went wrong here, we expect that party or those parties to be accountable to our taxpayers," said Rep. Matt Gray (D-Broomfield), chair of the Transportation Legislation Review Committee.

"We can require them to show up and give us answers, and that is what we plan to do and to provide transparency to the public," said Sen. Faith Winter (D-Westminster), vice-chair of that committee.

RELATED: CDOT may have to reimburse tolls during emergency closure of US 36

RELATED: Rerouted eastbound US 36 lanes open as work continues to repair crack

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The Transportation Legislation Review Committee, which helps determine what bills are drafted for transportation needs, won't meet until September.

The committee will likely request testimony from:

  • CDOT
  • Plenary Roads Denver - the company CDOT hired to manage US 36 for 50 years
  • Granite Construction and Ames Construction - the companies hired to build the bridge

"It could be a design problem. It could be a construction problem. It could be a problem that came up a lot of ways, and we're not going to jump to conclusions about what that is," said Gray.

Both Gray and Winter live near the impacted area on US 36, and Gray showed frustration with transportation between Denver and Boulder.

"Some benefits never showed up at all, when it comes to the train, and then the benefits that were supposed to come from the project have been negated by this," said Gray. "Folks in this community are just a little bit tired, every time they have a major transportation project either promised or delivered, something going really really wrong."

At a news conference about health care and reinsurance on Tuesday, Next asked Gov. Jared Polis (D) about what he's been told regarding responsibility for the damage and who will have to pay.

WATCH: Is CDOT concerned about the westbound lanes of 36?

"Certainly, we have indicated to CDOT, and it's the Department of Transportation's approach, that they will do their best to hold parties accountable and to make sure taxpayers are made whole to the extent possible and that people are accountable for their work," said Polis.

For her part, Winter may try to get answers directly from the company that manages US 36 for CDOT.

She left for Washington, D.C., to speak at a transportation conference on public-private partnerships. Representatives from Plenary will be there too.

"I definitely am going to talk to Plenary, and have talked to Plenary, about their role about how we can get the highway open as quickly as possible and make sure that this agreement is serving our residents," said Winter.


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