US 34 and US 36 resurfacing project begins Feb. 19

Travel Advisory

February 2, 2024 - Northeastern Colorado - Video presentation available online; open house Feb. 7

Estes Park — The Colorado Department of Transportation will begin improvements along US 34 and US 36 in Estes Park on Feb. 19. The project will resurface four miles of roadway and provide other safety improvements for the busy tourist town. The anticipated completion date of the project is fall 2024.

During the first phase of the project, a retaining wall will be constructed to protect the roadway from erosion due to the river on US 36/Moraine Avenue, just east of Riverrock Circle. There will be a 24/7 single alternating traffic pattern with temporary traffic signals to guide motorists through the construction zone. The single lane closure is expected to be in place until early May. Two-way traffic will be restored during the next phase of the project.

US 36 retaining wall closure map
US 36 retaining wall closure map

Benefits of constructing the retaining wall include:

  • Enhanced road stability: The retaining wall will significantly reduce erosion along US 36, ensuring the roadway remains stable, maintaining structural integrity during periods of high-water flows.
  • Safety improvements: By reinforcing the road, the project will create a safer travel experience for motorists by minimizing the risk of road collapse or unexpected road surface irregularities.
  • Long-term cost savings: Investing in a retaining wall now will mitigate the need for frequent, costly road repairs in the future, due to ongoing erosion issues.
  • Environmental protection: By reducing the impact on the surrounding land and habitat, it helps preserve the natural beauty of the Big Thompson River area.
  • Resilience against extreme weather: The structure will provide added protection against erosion from the river and the effects of extreme weather events, such as heavy rainfall or snowmelt, ensuring the road remains passable and safe during such conditions.
  • Minimized traffic disruptions: By addressing the root cause of the road damage, the retaining wall will reduce the likelihood of future road closures for repair work, leading to fewer traffic disruptions and delays.

The second phase of the project will begin mid-spring when the retaining wall work is completed and is expected to be completed by fall 2024. This includes paving US 34/Big Thompson Avenue from the intersection with US 36/North St Vrain Avenue to Mall Road. Additional work includes Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades, that include curb ramp installation, at the intersection of US 36 and Mary’s Lake Road and on East Elkhorn Avenue, from Big Horn Drive to Virginia Drive. Curb ramps are a small but important part of making sidewalks, street crossings and the other pedestrian routes that make up the public right-of-way accessible to everyone.

During this phase, motorists can expect traffic shifts, single alternating lane closures, and sidewalk detours at various project stages. Work for this phase will include both daytime and nighttime work depending on the location crews are working in. For daytime work the hours range from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and nighttime work will be 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., Sunday through Thursday.

In order to maintain safe infrastructure, asphalt roads need to have their top layers milled and resurfaced every 10-15 years. This extends the life of the road and creates a safer surface for motorists traveling this corridor. As an additional safety improvement, the damaged and aging guardrail in some locations will be replaced.

A video presentation about the project is available on the project website: Anyone with questions or comments, can call the project hotline or send an email to the team. Additionally, project team members will be at the Estes Park Town Hall from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 7 to answer any questions.

"Improvements in this area are critical for communities and recreation businesses along this corridor,” said CDOT Northeast Regional Transportation Director Heather Paddock. “We are working closely with the town to coordinate efforts with their projects and limit the impact to residents and tourists.”

Feb - May, Phase 1 Travel Impacts

  • Work hours range from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • Single-lane, alternating travel through the work zone with temporary traffic signals in some locations, and flaggers in place in some locations

Mid-spring - early fall 2024, Phase 2 Travel Impacts

  • Daytime work hours range from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • Nighttime work hours range from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., Sunday through Thursday

The work schedule is weather dependent and subject to change.

Project Contact Information

For additional information about this project, contact the project team.

Know Before You Go

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

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!

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