CO 9 Virtual Field Trip

IMG_4329.jpgA vehicle drives below wildlife overpass in July 2017.

2017 Summit participants took part in part in a field trip to the recently completed Colorado Highway (CO) 9 Colorado River South Wildlife & Safety Improvements project. This stretch of highway in north-central Colorado which has seen a 90% decrease in animal-vehicle collisions since the project's completion. 

Project Background

CO 9 is a major traffic route between Kremmling and Silverthorne in Summit and Grand counties. CDOT, Grand County, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the Blue Valley Ranch partnered on this project following numerous wildlife-vehicle collisions, and human fatalities, between mile posts 126 and 137.

The 10.5 mile stretch of SH 9 between the town of Kremmling and Green Mountain Reservoir is located within a high concentration winter area for mule deer within the Middle Park herd, in Grand County. In October 2013, the State Transportation Commission selected CO 9 for Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships (RAMP) funding to fast track the safety-improvement project.

From the very beginning, the CO 9 Safety Improvement project has been a collaborative effort involving the time, effort and input of many stakeholders. Federal and state agencies, nongovernmental organizations, county and local governments, private landowners, and the general public have all participated in the planning and funding of a project that has been highlighted by overwhelming community support.

Participants learn successes of underpasses at Summit 2017.

Project Highlights

  • Seven wildlife crossings
  • Wildlife fencing 
  • Improved alignments of the highway to meet 65 mph-design speed
  • Widened roadway to include 8-foot shoulders
  • Flattened side slopes to allow vehicle recovery areas
  • Improved signage and striping
  • Added safety devices (guardrail)
  • Upgraded drainage structures