WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — A group of people have been trespassing and living in a tunnel underneath the State Highway 58 flyover near Interstate 70 in Wheat Ridge, and authorities are now working on cleaning out the tunnel, which police say has become a "dangerous" situation.
A Denver7 viewer reached out to us with a question about what was happening here. This is what we found from the Colorado Department of Transportation and Wheat Ridge Police Department.
CDOT and police have been working for the past few days to clear the tunnel of the "excessive amounts of trash and property" that is packed along the full length of the flyover, which is near the intersection of W. 44th Avenue and Youngfield Street, police said.
A Wheat Ridge community services officer was the first person to spot this issue — he saw somebody climb into the tunnel that runs underneath the flyover and followed them to the tunnel. Police determined that the individuals used an access point that CDOT would have used to inspect the flyover.
Police said the situation was "dangerous" and inaccessible to CDOT, and the tunnel needed to be cleaned out. It had a makeshift kitchen and place to hang clothes on one end, police said, and the other end was full of trash and human waste.
CDOT has contracted with a company that is currently working on this.
On Thursday afternoon, police released a video illustrating where the tunnel is and what it looked like inside.
"We don't want you to live in a tunnel, we want you to be safe," Joanna Small, public information officer with WRPD, said of the people who were living inside the tunnel.
Police are standing by in case any of the collected items were stolen property, but said that as of Thursday morning, it did not appear that any items were stolen.
Police said the area is more industrial than residential, and this issue wouldn't have impacted nearby houses.
CDOT said it was not aware of any major damage to the tunnel.
Residents may have noticed CDOT and Wheat Ridge police vehicles working in the area the past few days. A dumpster is on the side of the road. CDOT said it was not sure when the cleanup will be complete.