CO 7 Lyons to Raymond project now complete

Final 2013 flood recovery project wraps up; Bicycle access restored

November 11, 2022 - Northeastern Colorado - Final 2013 flood recovery project wraps up; Bicycle access restored

Boulder County — The Colorado Department of Transportation and Kiewit Infrastructure Co. will complete construction today on Colorado Highway 7 from Lyons to Raymond. This marks the last of the 200-plus flood repair projects that were part of the $750 million Flood Recovery Program.

Starting Sept. 11, 2013, flood waters wreaked havoc on a large area of the Northern Front Range and the Northeastern Plains of Colorado. This national and state emergency impacted more than 400 miles of roadways and more than 120 bridges and structures.

“We are thrilled to bring the 2013 Flood Recovery work to closure. We all know that after a response to a natural disaster, recovery takes much longer. We appreciate the diligence of the CDOT Region 4 team, under Heather Paddock’s leadership, as well as all our partners and stakeholders, in bringing this work to closure in a way that improves resiliency and protects communities and the environment,” said CDOT Executive Director, Shoshana Lew. 

To celebrate the end of the end of the 2013 flood program, CDOT will be releasing a series of videos documenting the 9-year effort from the beginning of the flood through the final CO 7 project. Here is a preview of the film called “The Road to Resiliency”:

Construction on the final flood recovery project, the CO 7 Lower project, began in September 2021. For the first eight months of the project, permanent repairs were completed under a full closure of CO 7 between Lyons and Allenspark. The final six months of the project were completed under alternating, single lane traffic. These permanent repairs included removing and replacing temporary asphalt placed during emergency repairs, adding shoulders, restoring ecological systems along the corridor, restoring St. Vrain Creek, and fixing topsoil and vegetation in areas that were either damaged or disturbed during the initial emergency repair work. 

This work was completed with a zero-waste goal, which means no earthwork was landfilled outside the CO 7 canyon. As a result, the design and construction teams reduced the greenhouse gas emissions of the operation by 1,300 metric tons. As part of the CO 7 project, crews completed:

  • Over 65,000 man hours of work
  • Moved 67,000 cubic yards of dirt/rock
  • Installed 2,036 linear feet of drainage pipe
  • Installed 14,100 linear feet of guardrail
  • Rehabilitated 11,500 linear feet of the river
  • Paved 13 miles of road with 38,500 tons of asphalt
  • Installed 14,000 linear feet of rumble strips
  • Planted 38,000 plantings across 28 acres of the canyon
  • Completed 20,000 linear feet of soil stabilization

“Building back better didn’t mean bigger with more hardened infrastructure – it meant build it so we can reduce response times for essential services and let the river and road work in harmony,” said Region 4 Transportation Director, Heather Paddock. “Now that we are finished with construction – and after a few years of growing season – it will look like we were never there.”

With the CO 7 Lower project now complete, bicyclists can now ride the highway between Lyons and Allenspark safely for the first time since September 2021. With the road improvements, CDOT added a four-foot-wide shoulder for bicyclists to safely ride the uphill portion of the canyon without impeding traffic, making for a safer ride for bicyclists and motor vehicles alike. 

CDOT would like to thank its partners who helped make this Flood Recovery Program and CO 7 Lower project possible. Some of these key agencies include:

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency 
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service
  • United States Forest Service
  • Local agencies, including first responders, elected officials, and impacted towns, counties and residents
  • Colorado Office of Emergency Management
  • Consultant and Construction Industry
  • United States National Guard
  • FHWA’s Central Federal Lands

Later this year, crews will require one more period of alternating, single lane closures for the installation of road closure gates. Work will be minimal and over a short duration of time.

Stay Informed

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