CO 119 Project complete today in Boulder Canyon

Travel Advisory

July 9, 2021 - Northeastern Colorado - New pedestrian path and flood repairs installed

BOULDER — It has been a long time coming, but the Colorado Highway 119 Boulder Canyon permanent flood repair project is complete today.

Earlier this week, the Colorado Department of Transportation set up a single-lane closure on CO 119 for the last time. All work on CO 119 between Boulder and Nederland is now complete, including an extension of the Boulder Creek Trail. After 2.5 years of construction on the highway to help maintain access during future floods, project crews are packing up. 

In September 2013, flood waters saturated the mountainous terrain of Colorado Highway 119, causing numerous material slides, ditch damage and erosion to the roadway embankment. After eroding the highway embankment, the floods washed out the road in several places. Large amounts of debris, rock, and sediment were deposited in the creek and, as a result, redirected water flows – further contributing to the erosion of the channel banks and the undermining of the highway. Hundreds of residents were cut off from emergency services.

The project’s long-term improvements have transformed this corridor into a safer and more resilient environment for Colorado residents every day and especially during future flood events. The complete improvements include: 

  • 13 miles of repaved highway

  • 2 miles of entirely redesigned and reconstructed highway

  • Rock blasting to widen roadway in areas where highway was washed out 

  • Rock stabilization to prevent rock slides 

  • Cleaned, replaced or added culverts to convey stormwater drainage under the highway

  • New highway directional and safety signage

  • Removal of materials placed during emergency repairs

  • Repaired slopes where material failed in the storm

  • Re-established native grass seed and erosion control to slopes that were disturbed during emergency recovery work

  • New, more effective rumble strips 

  • Concrete islands to improve the roundabout in Nederland 

  • 3,500 feet of trail extension in partnership with Boulder County 

Zak Dirt crews provided 66,515 hours of roadway flagging operations and completed 66,000 cubic yards of rock excavation. Additionally, they placed 58,000 tons of asphalt and installed 29,000 linear feet of concrete or metal guardrail.

CDOT Region Transportation Director Heather Paddock said, “We know this project was challenging for the community during construction. We would like to thank our neighbors, especially in Nederland and throughout Boulder County, for their patience and constructive feedback throughout this process. We hope the results will improve your commutes and daily lives.” 

CDOT would also like to remember founder of Blackwing Blasting, Rick Batista, who worked on this project for over two years and was tragically killed recently while working on another rock blasting project in southern Colorado. His legacy reminds the community just how dangerous blasting work can be and CDOT is grateful to all the men and women who worked hard to keep the safety of the crews and the traveling public a priority on this project. 

Stay Informed

Travelers can obtain information about this closure and construction project by: 

 Text alerts: Text CO119 to 21000 to receive updates about this closure and project text alerts.

 Road conditions and travel information: 

 Sign up for project or travel alerts:

Scheduled lane closures

 Connect with us on social media: Twitter @coloradodot and Facebook

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.

Remember: Slow for the Cone Zone

The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

    Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.

    Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.

    Watch for workers. Drive with caution.

    Don't change lanes unnecessarily.

    Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.

    Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.

    Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.

    Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.

    Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.

    Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.

    Be patient!