Three-Mile Stretch of U.S. Highway 34 in Big Thompson Canyon Closes Monday
The Colorado Department of Transportation will close a three-mile section U.S. Highway 34 in the Big Thompson Canyon starting Monday, October 17 to make permanent repairs to the road that was damaged by the 2013 floods. The highway will be closed between mile markers 77 and 80, from just east of Drake to the Cedar Cove area until late May 2017. It is important to note that all the businesses in the canyon, outside the closure area, and those businesses on Highway 34 just west of Loveland will remain open.
The project will include the blasting and removal of about 200,000 cubic yards of rock from two sections of the canyon. This amounts to roughly 20,000 dump trucks full of material, which is enough to fill up half of Coors Field. Removing this rock will enable shifting the highway in two specific areas that sustained significant damage in both the 1976 and 2013 floods.
Drivers can use Colorado Highway 66 and US 36 to travel between Loveland and Estes Park. Permits have been issued to people living in the Big Thompson Canyon allowing them to follow pilot cars through the three-mile work zone between the hours of 6 and 8:30 a.m. and 4 and 7 p.m. Through-traffic, however, will need to use the posted detour.