The section of US Highway 34 between the Dam Store and Estes Park is closed and will remain closed until late May 2018.  CDOT is doing extensive work to make the Big Thompson Canyon more resistant to the impacts of flooding.

This work will take place from just east of Mall Road (mile point 66) to the Dam Store (mile point 83). It includes reconstructing several miles of the highway by removing material from beneath the roadway and combining it with a cement mixture to create man-made bedrock. During this closure, crews will also rebuild several access bridges, repair the road near the landslide at Waltonia (mile points 72 to 74), realign the highway where possible to shift the road onto bedrock, improve the river embankment slopes to offer more protection to the roadway and complete the new bridges through the Horseshoe curve (mile point 78), where construction took place this summer.

The initial closure is from approximately mile point 72 to mile point 80 (near the Round Mountain Trailhead/Cedar Cove area). Single lane closures will be in place between mile point 80 and mile point 83 (the Dam Store). In mid-October, the closure limits will extend further east to mile point 83 and in early November, the closure will extend further west to approximately mile point 67. Until that time, the western and eastern ends of the canyon will remain open to all traffic. All business from the west end of Loveland to the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon will remain open.

Detour

Permits have been distributed to canyon residents and property owners for travel along US 34 at certain times each day.  Anyone living outside the permit boundary areas in the canyon will need to use the US 36, State Highway 66 and Highway 287 detour route to travel between Loveland and Estes Park.

History

US 34 Big Thompson Canyon’s roads and bridges were heavily damaged during the 2013 floods with many homes damaged and over 100 air lifted evacuations. The canyon and its residents also suffered from flooding in 1976. CDOT studied the hydraulic flow of the river in the canyon and its impact on the road and bridges along its path while looking for safety improvements and solutions to prevent/protect against future flood events.