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Resurfacing Project On Colorado Highways Commences

Tue February 20, 2024 - West Edition #4
CDOT


Crews are resurfacing the highway on U..S 34A from N. St. Vrain Avenue to Mall Road and U.S. 36A from Highway 66 to W. Elkhorn Avenue.
Photo courtesy of CDOT
Crews are resurfacing the highway on U..S 34A from N. St. Vrain Avenue to Mall Road and U.S. 36A from Highway 66 to W. Elkhorn Avenue.
Crews are resurfacing the highway on U..S 34A from N. St. Vrain Avenue to Mall Road and U.S. 36A from Highway 66 to W. Elkhorn Avenue.   (Photo courtesy of CDOT) The retaining wall will significantly reduce erosion along U.S. 36, ensuring the roadway remains stable, maintaining structural integrity during periods of high-water flows.   (Photo courtesy of CDOT)

The Colorado Department of Transportation has begun improvements along U.S. 34 and U.S. 36 in Estes Park.

Construction crews from Simon started the project on Feb. 19. The project is focusing on resurfacing 4 mi. of roadway and provide other safety improvements for the busy tourist town. The anticipated completion date of the project is fall 2024.

During the first phase of the project, a retaining wall will be constructed to protect the roadway from erosion due to the river on U.S. 36/Moraine Avenue, just east of Riverrock Circle.

The single lane closure is expected to be in place until early May. Two-way traffic will be restored during the next phase of the project. There will be a 24/7 single alternating traffic pattern with temporary traffic signals to guide motorists through the construction zone.

Benefits of constructing the retaining wall include:

  • Enhanced road stability: The retaining wall will significantly reduce erosion along U.S. 36, ensuring the roadway remains stable, maintaining structural integrity during periods of high-water flows;
  • Safety improvements: By reinforcing the road, the project will create a safer travel experience for motorists by minimizing the risk of road collapse or unexpected road surface irregularities;
  • Long-term cost savings: Investing in a retaining wall now will mitigate the need for frequent, costly road repairs in the future, due to ongoing erosion issues;
  • Environmental protection: By reducing the impact on the surrounding land and habitat, it helps preserve the natural beauty of the Big Thompson River area;
  • Resilience against extreme weather: The structure will provide added protection against erosion from the river and the effects of extreme weather events, such as heavy rainfall or snowmelt, ensuring the road remains passable and safe during such conditions;
  • Minimized traffic disruptions: By addressing the root cause of the road damage, the retaining wall will reduce the likelihood of future road closures for repair work, leading to fewer traffic disruptions and delays;

The second phase of the project will begin mid-spring when the retaining wall work is completed and is expected to be completed by fall 2024. This includes paving U.S. 34/Big Thompson Avenue from the intersection with U.S. 36/North Street Vrain Avenue to Mall Road. Additional work includes Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades, that include curb ramp installation, at the intersection of U.S. 36 and Mary's Lake Road and on East Elkhorn Avenue, from Big Horn Drive to Virginia Drive. Curb ramps are a small but important part of making sidewalks, street crossings and the other pedestrian routes that make up the public right-of-way accessible to everyone.

During this phase, motorists can expect traffic shifts, single alternating lane closures and sidewalk detours at various project stages. Work for this phase will include both daytime and nighttime work depending on the location crews are working in. For daytime work the hours range from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and nighttime work will be 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., Sunday through Thursday.

In order to maintain safe infrastructure, asphalt roads need to have their top layers milled and resurfaced every 10 to 15 years. This extends the life of the road and creates a safer surface for motorists traveling this corridor. As an additional safety improvement, the damaged and aging guardrail in some locations will be replaced.

For more information, visit https://www.codot.gov/projects/us34us36resurfacing




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