Projects

CO 72 Coal Creek Canyon

Crews have activated a temporary traffic signal on CO 72, 1.5 miles east of Twin Spruce Road (near mile point (MP) 16). As a result, traffic will alternate between both directions of the highway under the signal at all times for several months. Early next week, crews will install a second temporary traffic signal about 1.5 miles west of Plainview Road.

Other impacts:

  • Through January 2020: No vehicles wider than 12 feet allowed between MP 12 and MP 24
  • Speed limit reduced to 40 mph in several areas
  • Fines doubled in the work zone
  • Until further notice: Due to limited road width, uneven road surfaces and traffic shifts, bikes are not allowed in active work zones along CO 72. until further notice.

Plan your trip on COtrip

Project Facts

  • Cost: $9.55 million (construction)
  • Contractor: M.A. Mortenson
  • Timeline:
    • Design: Summer 2014 - fall 2018
    • Construction: Winter 2019 - fall 2020
  • Location: Along 12 miles of CO 72 between Plainview Road (mile point 12.3) and Pinecliffe (MP 24.6) in Coal Creek Canyon

Crews on this project will repair a 12-mile section of Colorado Highway 72—a stretch heavily damaged by flooding in 2013—and incorporate improvements to make the roadway more resilient and mitigate future damage.

Work will be completed from Plainview Road (mile point 12.3) and Pinecliffe (MP 24.6) in Coal Creek Canyon, a stretch that provides access from the west side of the Denver metro area through Coal Creek Canyon to Nederland.

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

  • 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, subject to change due to weather
  • Travel restrictions:
    • Between Plainview Road—about 1.7 miles west of CO 93 in Jefferson County—and Pinecliffe in Boulder and Gilpin counties
    • In certain locations, CO 72 will be reduced to one-lane, alternating traffic controlled by automated signals and flaggers.
    • Due to narrowing of the road and safety concerns, bicyclists won't be allowed to travel through the work zone.
    • There may be uneven or gravel road surfaces.

Background

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.

Contact Us


Colorado: The Official State Web Portal