Rubber from railroad continues to cause road hazard for thousands of drivers on Santa Fe Drive

CDOT: Permanent fix to be completed by end of year

SHERIDAN, Colo. - Thousands of motorists drive over a road hazard at highway speeds every day, despite temporary fixes that have not solved the problem.

The rubber around the railroad that cuts across Santa Fe Drive at Oxford Avenue continues to come out of place and poke up into traffic.

"The rubber and the rail and in between the road has had some issues buckling and sort of popping," said Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Amy Ford. "The railroad has been going in and doing temporary fixes in that area."

For around a year, CDOT has placed electronic signs warning about "Road Damage At RR," while slowing the speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph.

"Long term, we are actually looking at a permanent fix where we go back in and redo that entire crossing area," said Ford. "(We) hope to have that project underway here soon and complete by the end of the year."

7NEWS checked and found out that BNSF Railway is responsible for the upkeep and the cost of the temporary fixes. The railroad cuts across the highway and dead ends at a recycling plant off of Oxford Avenue. The rail is not for RTD light rail or heavy rail cars.

7NEWS also wanted to know who would be responsible for vehicle damage caused by a roadway known to be damaged.

"What we would do if there is any damage in that area, we would send that process through our claims office," said Ford. "Whether it would be the railroad or the state, that's something that they would be dealing with depending on where the incident happened."

During the spring, drivers who believe their vehicle is damaged by a pothole can try and file a claim with that jurisdiction. If the agency was made aware of the problem for a certain period of time without fixing the issue, the claim has a better chance of being paid out. Since this railroad has received multiple temporary fixes, it could be difficult to prove that the hazard was known and not addressed.

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