CDOT begins final flood recovery project
Boulder County — On September 20 at 8 a.m., the Colorado Department of Transportation will close Colorado Highway 7 between Mile Points 23 and 29.5 for permanent flood repairs. The closure of CO 7 (Lower) Canyon will remain in place through Memorial Day 2022. (Co Hwy 7 will be open to all traffic for Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends)
There will be “scheduled openings” for all traffic from 6-8 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. daily, including weekends. During these timeframes, pilot cars will lead alternating one-way travel. Drivers should plan for delays and the team has planned to ensure that emergency responder access is maintained at all times. Due to work zone conditions, cycling, kayaking, hiking and climbing will be closed between MP 23-29.5 at all times during the closure.
This schedule was presented to the communities at the virtual public meeting on August 3 and CDOT has actively been coordinating with residents near the closure. The closure strategy was selected by community agency representatives because the closure coincides with the months of lowest traffic volumes on CO 7. While impactful, the alternative to this full closure would have involved alternating one-way travel on CO 7 with long, unpredictable traffic queues for several years. While CO 7 is closed, drivers will need to use US 36 or US 34 to travel to and from Estes Park and Lyons. The project team has coordinated with local schools, mail/delivery services and emergency responders.
After Memorial Day 2022, traffic impacts will be minimal with single-lane closures and intermittent delays through Fall 2022.
The goals of this project are to maintain access during future flood events, build a safe system accommodating multi-modal transportation options and work in harmony with ecological river functions in the corridor.
The permanent repair project will:
Resurface and repair approximately 14 miles of roadway
Rehabilitate several miles of the St. Vrain Creek disturbed during the emergency repairs
Improve multi-modal mobility options along the corridor
Build in resiliency to improve future emergency access during floods
This is the state’s final 2013 Flood recovery permanent repair project. The canyon sustained significant damage during the 2013 disaster, with nine miles of roadway severely damaged or lost entirely, and debris flows that prevented access for nearly 2 1/2 months. An emergency repair project reestablished traffic and operations quickly but did not complete repairs to final grades or restore the highway to appropriate transportation safety standards. This is a $55 million to $60 million 2013 Emergency Relief (ER) project that is fully supported by federal emergency relief funds.
Travelers can obtain information about this closure and construction project by:
Visit our website codot.gov/projects/co7
See scheduled lane closures: codot.gov/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html
Connect with us on social media: Twitter @coloradodot and Facebook facebook.com/coloradodot
REMEMBER: SLOW FOR THE CONE ZONE
The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.
● Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.
● Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.
● Watch for workers. Drive with caution.
● Don’t change lanes unnecessarily.
● Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.
● Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
● Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
● Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
● Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
● Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.
● Be patient!
CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.
EDITOR’S NOTES: The fiber cable company along Highway 36, between Lyons and Estes Park, has been ordered to stop its work this week 8/31/21. There will be no more drilling or digging until possibly June 2022. They are currently doing clean up work, and possibly some last minute laying of asphalt to cover their ditches. On Highway 7, CDOT crews are beginning the prep work for the upcoming closure, and the service lanes are closed. CDOT does not allow two construction projects to go on at the same time that have the same access blocked — in this case, both roads connect Lyons to Estes Park.