‘Low-impact’ summer construction on US 34 to begin after July 4

March 24, 2016 - Northeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 4 - Public meetings in April to give overview of work to come.

LARIMER COUNTY – The Colorado Department of Transportation permanent repairs to US 34 between Loveland and Estes Park following the 2013 floods will begin after the Fourth of July holiday, but impacts to traffic will be relatively minor until after Labor Day.

“We expect this to be a low-impact summer for construction traffic as we begin work in the canyon,” said James Usher, CDOT project manager.  “CDOT is reducing construction activities occurring before Labor Day in order to reduce impacts to traffic during this summer’s peak tourist season.”

Prior to Labor Day, rock blasting is planned to take place at the “horseshoe curve” about three miles east of Drake (Mile Point 78.4). Generally, there will be only one blast per day during the work week. During this time, traffic will need to be stopped momentarily (15-30 minutes) while the actual blasts are conducted. The schedule of these blasts will be communicated weekly and updated every 24 hours, so travelers can plan.

Communication is an integral part of the project. Two public meetings are planned for April to provide information about the work planned and to get public input on the process.

  • April 11, 6-8 p.m., Estes Park Town Hall – Town Board Room

  • April 12, 6-8 p.m., Big Thompson Elementary School, Loveland

After the Labor Day holiday, rock-blasting work will begin near Idylwilde (MP 77.5) that will require more substantial traffic impacts including full closures of various durations throughout the day.

US 34 Big Thompson Canyon was heavily damaged during the 2013 floods with many homes damaged and over 100 air lifted evacuations.  The canyon and its residents also suffered from flooding in 1976. As a result of these two events, CDOT has been studying the hydraulic flow of the river in the canyon and its impact on the road and bridges along its path while looking for safety improvements and resiliency solutions to prevent and protect against significant damage from future flood events.  

CDOT PROJECT INFORMATION:  For updates to this project, call (720) 263-1589 or visit www.codot.gov/projects/floodrelatedprojects/us-34-big-thompson-canyon-1. To sign up for “CDOT Alerts” on projects in your chosen area, visit CDOT’s website at www.codot.gov and choose the envelope icon at the bottom-right side of the page. Or, to see CDOT’s lane closure reports for projects statewide, visit www.codot.gov/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html. Major CDOT project updates are also available via CoTrip.org, Twitter @coloradodot or Facebook.