CO 119 Boulder Canyon Improvements

CO 119 Boulder Canyon Improvements Project hosts follow-up town hall

Project team to share updates and discuss solutions to community concerns

Last month, members of the Colorado Highway 119 Boulder Canyon Improvements Project met with local communities to discuss project progress and collect feedback from the public.

The Colorado Department of Transportation and Zak Dirt, the contractor that has been installing permanent repairs along CO 119 since March 2019, are now sharing schedule-saving solutions and project updates as a follow up to community input. An open house will be held on Dec. 2 to explain these updates.

Town Hall Meeting
Monday, Dec. 2

6:15-8:15 p.m.

Formal presentation will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.
Nederland Community Center Auditorium

750 N. Highway 72

Nederland CO, 80466

Project leadership will present a schedule for the remainder of the project, as well as blasting plans moving forward. CDOT will also update the community on coordination efforts with cell service providers, improvements to winter road maintenance and address any remaining questions. Speakers will include CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew, CDOT Region 4 Director Heather Paddock, and other CDOT Project Representatives. Colorado State Senator Stephen Fenberg and Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones will also be in attendance. The meeting presentation will be filmed and posted to the project website, along with all other meeting materials, for those who cannot attend.

Project Holiday Schedule

Crews will be working the week of Thanksgiving with a modified schedule.

There will be full closures Monday, Nov. 25 and Tuesday, Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at MP 39-40 for blasting activities.

On Wednesday, Nov. 27, crews will work inside a single lane closure from 7 a.m. to Noon.

Thursday, Nov. 28 - Saturday, Nov. 30 no work will occur, however, the traffic signal will remain in place to maintain the work zone. Flaggers will be onsite to manually control traffic 6:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. throughout the weekend. 

Work this Week

Upcoming Paving Work

In order to reduce the length of the single lane controlled by traffic signals and provide an additional two-lane traffic, crews will be paving a temporary detour around a portion of the blast zone at MP 39-40. During the paving, a pilot car will direct traffic through the area, but all motorists should plan for significant delays. 

Paving operations will take place Tuesday, Nov. 19 – Friday, Nov. 22 from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

 24/7 Ongoing Impacts
Culvert installation will impact MP 36, and rock hauling will impact MP 40.

Motorists will be guided around the single lane closures with traffic control flaggers.
Three traffic signal zones will remain in place near MP 32, MP 38 and near MP 39, 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, to preserve the work areas.  
Up to 40-minute delays are expected through the canyon during work hours. Speed limits are reduced to 25 miles per hour in the construction zones. The work is weather-dependent, and the schedule may change. 
Please plan additional time to travel through the construction zones or to use the alternate routes of Colorado Highway 72 or Lefthand Canyon Drive during the full road closure. 
Trail Closure

The FULL CLOSURE of the Boulder Canyon trail at MP 40 where it crosses under CO 119, will be extending a mile and a half to the east, preventing through access from Boulder to the Four Mile trailhead. Crews will rehabilitate the highway structure and install underground rock protection for the next three months.  Eastbound cyclists will need to merge with CO 119 traffic through this area. Westbound cycling will be closed through the work area, but open beyond the project limits. 

Creek Closure
The Boulder Canyon Creek will be closed for use from the canyon mouth in Boulder to the Fourmile Canyon trailhead, Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

ALERT: Four Mile Resident Permits  

Residential permits remain available for residents who live in areas above the Fourmile/Boulder Canyon intersection and need access to Fourmile Canyon and Poorman Road during the Boulder Canyon Blasting Closures. This includes Sugarloaf, Magnolia, and upper Boulder Canyon residents. Residents living in Fourmile Canyon do not need a pass.

 To obtain a pass, please contact:

Kelly Lucy with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office at 303-877-1720 (Monday – Wednesday), or at [email protected] (anytime). You must provide your full name, phone number, house address, mailing address, and the license plate number for each vehicle needing a pass. Passes will be sent by U.S. mail to the mailing address supplied.

Project Facts

  • Cost: $31 Million
  • Contractor: Zak Dirt
  • Timeline: Winter 2019 - Summer 2020
  • Location: CO 119 between Boulder and Nederland
  • Alternate Route During Construction: CO 72 is a recommended detour. Learn more about the CO 72 Coal Creek Canyon project.

In March 2019, crews began repairing a 15-mile stretch of Colorado Highway 119, between Boulder and Nederland, which was damaged during flooding in 2013.

Work includes:

  • resurfacing 13 miles of highway, and entirely replacing two miles of highway;
  • building concrete islands to improve the roundabout in Nederland;
  • installing new highway directional and safety signage;
  • replacing multiple pipes conveying stormwater drainage under the highway;
  • scaling rock in selected areas to reduce rockfalls on the highway;
  • repairing soft shoulder areas immediately adjacent the highway;
  • replacing 29,000 linear feet of concrete or metal guardrail;
  • removing and replacing materials placed during emergency repairs;
  • excavating areas where the slope had failed in the storm;
  • redesigning and widening specific sections of the roadway;
  • reconstructing embankments; and
  • re-establishing native grass seed and erosion control to slopes that were disturbed during emergency recovery work.

Boulder County Trail Improvements

The project, in partnership with Boulder County, will extend and reinforce sections of the Boulder Canyon Trail. The 10-foot-wide, multi-use trail will be extended from Four Mile Canyon to Chapman Drive—adding two new bike-friendly tunnels under the highway and approximately 3500 feet of length to the trail.

Project Work Hours:

  • 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Monday - Friday
  • Rock-blasting work hours: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Monday – Thursday 
  • No night or weekend work is planned. However, some work zones will remain closed to preserve the work area.

Travel Impacts & Delays

Various delays from single lane & full road closures are expected throughout the project.  Motorist are strongly encouraging everyone to plan ahead to give yourselves enough time to reach your destination.

  • Expect full highway closures for rock blasting and excavation, with four-hour complete closures.
  • Expect various long-term single-lane closures managed by temporary traffic signals, and various short-term single-lane closures managed by flagging.
  • Full Canyon Closures Monday through Thursday and 40-Minute Delays.
  • Speed limits will be reduced to 25 mph in the work zones. Expect several stops through the corridor.  
  • A permit-load restriction will be in effect.

Boulder Canyon Trail Impacts

  • April – August 2019
    • Crews will close the trail and parking areas adjacent to the trail (near mile point 40) when rock blasting is needed.
    • The trail could be impacted four times a week for nine hours at a time to allow for safe rock-blasting activities.
    • No weekend or holiday work is planned.
  • August - December 2019
    • The trail will be closed below the Boulder Canyon Trailhead at all times, including weekends and holidays.
    • Crews will place signage along the trail, at the opening of the canyon near Boulder City limits.

SH 119 Boulder Canyon Public Meeting Presentation

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