U.S. 36 between Lyons and Estes Park opens ahead of schedule

Gov. John Hickenlooper today announced that the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the National Guard completely reopened U.S. 36 between Lyons and Estes Park nearly one month ahead of the earlier anticipated Dec. 1 opening.

“Less than two months ago, this highway and surrounding communities suffered tremendous devastation following the floods,” Hickenlooper said. “Through hard work, partnerships among CDOT and the National Guard and amazing support from local communities, we can now celebrate the opening of this critical highway as we continue to reconnect and rebuild communities.”

To complete the temporary repairs along the 17-mile stretch of U.S. 36, crews utilized more than 75 pieces of equipment, hauled 34,200 cubic yards of fill, removed 1,155 feet of guardrail, placed more than 2,100 cubic yards of asphalt and reused 12,690 cubic yards of existing material.

“Returning access to our communities is so rewarding,” said Brig. Gen. Peter Byrne, commander of the Colorado National Guard’s Joint Task Force – Centennial. “This effort has been a hallmark of partnership, from the direction of CDOT, to the cooperation of our neighboring states which provided additional National Guard engineers. I am so proud of my team and our partners, but mostly of the resilience of our Colorado communities.”

While U.S. 36 is completely open to traffic and will be plowed throughout the winter, the repairs are temporary and the speed limit will be reduced. CDOT will move forward on design of the final repairs this winter with work beginning spring 2014.