CO 72 Coal Creek Canyon


Week of February 9-15

During the week of Feb 9, infrequent traffic holds (up to 15 minutes) are possible near MP 14 (approximately 1.5 miles west of Plainview Road) while large boulders are unloaded from equipment.

Temporary single lane closures will exist at MP 14 and between MP 15 and 17 while crews perform drainage and erosion control work. Flaggers will be onsite during any closures to direct alternating east/westbound traffic. All construction schedules are weather dependent and subject to change.

Bike restrictions have been lifted until further notice.

Project Facts

  • Cost: $9.55 million (construction)
  • Contractor: M.A. Mortenson
  • Timeline:
    • Construction: Spring 2019 to Spring 2020
  • Location: Along 12 miles of CO 72 between Plainview Road (mile point 12.3) and Pinecliffe (MP 24.6) in Coal Creek Canyon

CDOT and contractor M.A. Mortenson have completed about 35 percent of the emergency flood repair project along a 12-mile stretch of Colorado Highway 72 (CO 72) that sustained heavy damage during the floods of 2013. Work will start again in spring 2020 and includes replacement of two additional culverts, shoulder widening, and roadway improvements. Minimal work will be performed during the winter shut-down with few, if any, travel impacts to motorized traffic expected.

Since April 2019, the contractor has replaced three concrete box culverts at MP 14, 16 and 24, stabilized slopes, restored channels, and made storm crossing improvements. Starting in spring 2020, the contractor will replace two additional culverts to accommodate large storm events (see map), add a 4-foot shoulder from Plainview Road to Crescent Park, and construct final roadway improvements. From January to March 2020, some road and stabilization work may be performed, weather permitting. CDOT anticipates few, if any, travel impacts to motorized and nonmotorized traffic during the winter shut-down.

Specific work includes:

  • widening sections of CO 72;
  • replacing culverts to meet current standards;
  • replacing guardrail; and
  • improving drainage and the road.

Schedule & Travel Impacts

There will be occasional daytime travel impacts to motorized traffic during the winter months. In spring 2020, 24-hour lane closures and other restrictions will be in effect. All closures, restrictions and travel impacts are posted to

CDOT has lifted all bike restrictions in the 12-mile construction zone from MP 12 (just west of Plainview Road) to MP 24 (just east of the Pinecliffe community), until the restart of construction in spring 2020. Bike restrictions are anticipated when work resumes in spring and will be communicated with signs along the corridor.

CO 72 Status - MAP.JPG


This section of CO 72 provides access from the west side of the Denver metro area through Coal Creek Canyon to Nederland. There are a number of private residences and businesses throughout the canyon, directly off the highway.

Intense rain in the mountainous terrain of the Coal Creek watershed carried large amounts of debris and sediment, which inundated the creek, the highway's roadside ditches and drainage structures. The creek's high flows eroded the highway embankments in several places, undermining and washing out the roadway itself.

Additionally, the large amount of debris blocked drainage structures, which caused overtopping floodwaters to damage pavement, ditches and embankments.

Emergency repairs were widespread along the corridor and consisted of large-scale debris removal, repairing and/or replacing damaged drainage structures, excavation and filling of damaged embankments, and removing and replacing asphalt sections.

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