News

CDOT Opening US 34 Canyon to all Traffic for Easter Holiday

LARIMER COUNTY—From 4 p.m. Saturday, April 15 to 8:30 a.m. Monday, April 17, crews will open US 34 from mile points 77 to 80 to permitted and non-permitted travelers. This three-mile section of US 34 has been closed for flood-damage repairs since October 2016, with worked scheduled to continue Monday morning before a summer opening beginning Thursday, May 25.

Motorists will be stopped once at a traffic queue, and follow a pilot car through the single-lane work zone. Motorists should expect a 15- to 20-minute wait, depending on the number of cars in the queue.

This opening is part of CDOT's promise to reduce the inconvenience to canyon residents and nearby communities as much as possible. Drivers should remember to drive slowly and cautiously, as the road conditions may be variable.

Background

On Oct. 17, 2016, the canyon closed to all through-traffic to maintain public safety during heavy rock-blasting work. Since then, noticeable progress has been made, allowing for work originally scheduled for later this year to begin early.

Project contractor Kiewit Infrastructure Co. has blasted approximately 180,000 cubic yards of rock and hauled over 225,000 cubic yards of material since closing the highway—the equivalent volume of 15,000 concrete mixer trucks. The four rock cuts are on schedule, and work has begun on the Horseshoe bridges.

The Memorial Day holiday opening will give the public a glimpse into the remarkable progress.

US 34 Big Thompson Canyon's roads and bridges were heavily damaged during the 2013 floods with many homes damaged, and over 100 airlifted 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.

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