Colorado Department of Transportation
The second full closure of US 34 just east of Estes Park is still scheduled to take place Monday, March 1 through Friday, March 12, weather permitting. The closure is necessary to allow the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to replace the last steel truss bridge on US 34 in the Big Thompson Canyon. The two steel truss bridges being replaced as part of this project were originally constructed in 1937 and are in poor condition.
During the closure, US 34 will be completely closed at milepost 66.3 and motorists will be detoured through Lyons along US 287, State Highway 66 and US 36. The closure will be in place 24 hours a day starting at 12:01 a.m. on March 1 and continuing through March 12 while crews demolish the existing bridge and construct the new bridge. The detour route will add approximately 15 miles onto a trip from Estes Park to Loveland.
“The construction process will be very similar to that of the first bridge and our crews plan on working 24 hours a day through most of the process,” said CDOT Resident Engineer Scott Ellis. “Our goal is to reopen US 34 ahead of schedule, but there is a lot of work involved and many challenges to overcome so we cannot guarantee that it will reopen early.”
Following the second closure, crews will have some minor work to complete. Between the middle of March and the middle of May, crews will install the remaining drainage structures and pave the roadway in asphalt. The paving cannot take place until warmer temperatures return. Other minor work includes staining the concrete on the new bridges and installing the guardrail. During the last two months of construction, motorists can expect single-lane alternating traffic during daytime hours, Monday through Friday.
For more information about the project, visit http://www.coloradodot.info/projects/us-34-truss-bridges or call 970-685-0229. For frequently asked questions, visit the project Web site.
SEMA Construction, Inc. is the contractor for this $3.8 million project scheduled to be complete by Memorial Day 2010.