SH 9 Colorado River South Wildlife & Safety Improvements

A Partnership Project
Photo courtesy of Blue Valley Ranch.
Deer cross SH9 using the first overpass structure, Photo courtesy of J Richert, Blue Valley Ranch, Jan. 2016

State Highway (SH) 9 is a major traffic route between Kremmling and Silverthorne in Summit and Grand counties. Although the highway runs through many other counties, the narrow stretch of highway between mile marker (MM) 126 and 137, near the Green Mountain Dam Road and Colorado River Crossing, has been the site of numerous wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC). The narrow roadway bisects feeding and watering habitat frequently used by wildlife.  In addition, several human fatalities have occurred as well.

In an effort to mitigate future WVCs and to save human and animal lives, a partnership among the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Grand County, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Blue Valley Ranch was forged. 

In October 2013 the State Transportation Commission selected SH 9 for $RAMP* funding to fast track the safety-improvement project (*see RAMP press release at left for details on public-private partnership funding).

The contractor on this $39.2 million project is Kirkland Construction. The project began in April 2015 and is scheduled for completion in July 2017. 

Project Overview

Construction continues on the CDOT Wildlife and Safety Improvements project on State Highway (SH) 9, between Kremmling and Silverthorne in Summit and Grand counties. The project will reconstruct 11 miles of roadway to include 8-foot wide shoulders, alignment upgrades, and the installation of five wildlife underpass and two overpass structures to improve safety throughout the corridor.

Project Progress

With only a month since project commencement, crews have completed erosion control measures and milling work between Heeney Road and County Road (CR) 33. Currently, crews are conducting earthwork to extend the width of the highway, culvert replacements and seeding operations are also underway to re-vegetate disturbed areas. Upcoming work will include wildlife underpass construction.

SH9 single lane closures
Intermittent single lane closures in place on SH9

Schedule and Traffic Impacts

Monday through Friday, during daylight hours, with both northbound and southbound traffic will be reduced to one lane alternating traffic. Road surface conditions will be extremely rough for the majority of construction, as final paving operations will not occur until later in the project. Motorists can expect delays of up to 45 minutes through the construction zone during working hours.

There is the possibility of some Saturday work as well as some night work to install some of the deeper drainage structures and wildlife crossings.

Alternate Routes

Alternate routes are highly advised. Motorists are encouraged to utilize US Highway 40 and SH 131 to detour around construction. These routes will add 28-30 minutes to your trip.

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