Project History

Damage Overview

Colorado Highway 14 (CO 14)

CO 14

CO 14, west of Fort Collins, provides access through the Roosevelt National Forest and North Park eventually intersecting with US 40 East of Steamboat Springs. During the 2013 flood, the highway suffered intermittent damage between mile point (MP) 104 and MP 120. Intense rain in the mountainous terrain, and in areas previously scarred by wild fires triggered the movement of large amounts of debris and sediment down the mountain slopes and onto the highway, causing ditches and drainage structures to become clogged in many places. This led to runoff, sediment, and debris overtopping the highway and flowing down the embankments into the Cache La Poudre River. There was other varied damage along the corridor, such as small landslides and washout of embankments.

US Highway 287 (US 287)

US 287

This site on US 287, just west of the intersection with Larimer County Road 54, is where the Cache la Poudre River flows right up to the embankment just southwest of the highway. As a result of high flows and the bend in the river, about 200 feet of the river's bank and the highway's embankment were washed out, exposing utilities and undermining a portion of the guardrail.

Emergency (Temporary) Repairs

Emergency repairs were widespread along the both roadways and consisted of debris removal, removing landslide material from the roadway and ditches, repairing damaged embankments and armoring them with large boulders (riprap), and removing and replacing damaged asphalt sections. Many of the damaged drainage structures were replaced after the flooding as part of a state-funded culvert replacement project, and were not technically emergency repairs.

Permanent (Long-Term) Repairs

Permanent repairs will involve stabilizing slopes where landslides occurred. Repairs will also include drainage improvements, rebuilding damaged embankments, and removing and replacing the backfill material and riprap placed during emergency repairs. Native grass seed and mulch will be placed in and around affected areas. Various repairs and relocations of the exposed utilities will be coordinated as well.     

Estimated Timeline

  • Estimated Design Start: Fall 2014
  • Estimated Construction Start: Fall 2017

Estimated Budget

  • $1 million to $4 million


One of the goals in the repair process is to introduce certain betterments to roadway facilities that were damaged and make them more resilient to similar storm events in the future. Having analyzed the damage caused during the flood event, certain design elements will be incorporated in an effort to prevent or lessen the severe damage that significant flood events can cause.

At landslide sites, CDOT will evaluate the relative hazard for future slides and consider barriers and other structures to catch falling material and mitigate slides. Many of the drainage structures will be modified through the repair process improving the transport of runoff and sediment. Additionally, repairing roadway embankments and adding riprap armoring will better protect the slopes and the roadway during future storm events.