US 36 Milepost 8

Work this Week

Week of August 2
  • There will be closures on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. These closures will result in alternating traffic and approximately 10 minute delays.
  • Please use caution as you pass through the work zone.

US 36 reopens early between Lyons and Estes Park

US 36 between Lyons and Estes Park reopened substantially earlier than originally expected. 

Read the full press release here.

Construction Update

US 36 is again open for travel between Lyons and Estes Park. Thank you to everyone in the community for your patience during this closure. Please remember that as construction continues near Mile Point 8 and the Lion Gulch Trailhead there will be intermittent traffic interruptions including traffic stops and periodic short-term lane closures for some construction activities.

Click here for more information on traffic impacts

Project Background

This flood project involves installing two major drainage structures under US 36 by removing the roadway surface, excavating, and drilling horizontally beneath the highway. The project is approximately eight miles south of Estes Park near the Lion Gulch trailhead. Work entails rock blasting, re-benching the embankment between the highway and the Little Thompson River, restoring the river alignment, and placing riprap along the river’s restored alignment. These permanent repairs are a follow-up to emergency repairs made after the September 2013 Flood disaster and will offer a permanent fix to meet long-term transportation safety and functional standards. These repairs will also prevent the roadway from washing out in future storms, protecting lives and minimizing the need for road closures and repairs.  

Project Corridor Map

Click to expand.

Project Purpose

This project is designed to put the Little Thompson River back into its natural alignment through Muggins Gulch and honor commitments made with the U.S. Forest Service to return the channel to its historic ecological function. When US 36 was built in 1937, the river was channeled away from Muggins Gulch into the roadside ditch that exists today. This section of the river channel washed out in the 1976 and 2013 floods, causing significant damage to the roadway embankment that resulted in costly repairs and extended closures of a primary route in and out of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. New drainage structures installed for the permanent repair will return the river to its natural path beneath the highway and minimize erosion damage and highway closures during the next flood.

US 36 Milepost 8 Project Oblique Map

Click to expand.

Project Timeline

Initial construction work is scheduled to begin in January 2020 and the project is expected to finish in early 2021. A full closure of US 36 at Mile Point 8 was completed March 27. See the Travel Impacts page for more information.

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