UPDATE: US 34 Canyon open to all traffic for the holiday season

December 21, 2016 - Northeastern Colorado/CDOT Region 4 - LARIMER COUNTY –The Colorado Department of Transportation and Kiewit Infrastructure Co. will extend the temporarily opening of U.S. 34 between Estes Park and Loveland through the holidays.

Because crews have exceeded production goals the past few weeks, CDOT and Kiewit are combining the previously announced Christmas and New Year’s openings. US 34 will remain open to all motorists, with or without permits, Thursday, Dec. 22, at 4 p.m. through Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 8:30 a.m.

Additionally, the originally announced section requiring pilot cars will be free flowing in both directions which means no 10-minute delays. Crews have worked through the winter conditions to make this possible. Traffic control officers will still assist with monitoring traffic. Motorists should always drive safely and abide by traction laws when necessary.

These openings, and the previous Thanksgiving Holiday opening, are part of CDOT’s promise to reduce the inconvenience to canyon residents and nearby communities as much as possible. Drivers should remember to drive with caution through the construction zones.

After Jan. 3 at 8:30 a.m. until just before the Memorial Day weekend 2017, the canyon will again be closed to through-traffic, however open to all drivers east of mile marker 80 and west of mile marker 77. To reach properties in the canyon, and travel between Estes Park and Loveland, drivers should use the detour on US 36 and SH 66.

US 34 Big Thompson Canyon’s roads and bridges were 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/protect against future flood events.  

For additional information about this project, call the project information line at (970) 667-1005, email the team at [email protected], or visit the website and sign up for updates at us34canyon.codot.gov. For information on travel conditions, visit COTrip.org, sign up for GovDelivery or call 511. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and CDOT’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/coloradodot