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US 34 Reopens Ahead Of Schedule

By 6 p.m. Tuesday, February 10th, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will reopen US 34 just east of Estes Park following an eight-day closure for bridge replacement.  US 34 has been closed at milepost 65.4 near Drake since midnight on February 3rd while crews demolished and replaced one of two steel truss bridges originally constructed in 1937.

“Our contractor has been working extremely hard over the last eight days in order to reopen US 34 before Sunday, February 14th,” said CDOT Resident Engineer Scott Ellis.  “By prefabricating much of the new bridge and working nearly 24 hours a day, crews were able to complete the work and reopen US 34 four days ahead of schedule and in time for the holiday weekend.”

CDOT still has one more bridge to replace on US 34 at milepost 66.3, which will require another full closure of US 34 for approximately 12 days.  Currently, the second closure is scheduled to take place March 1st through March 12th; however, the closure may be moved to the week of February 22nd to take advantage of good weather.

“We know that March can be a very snowy month so if we have a window of favorable weather conditions in late February we are going to take advantage of it,” added Ellis.  “Like with this last bridge, we will have to completely close US 34, but our crews will work through the same construction process in order to reopen US 34 as soon as possible.”

As soon as the contractor determines the exact date of the second closure, more information will be released.  You can also visit http://www.coloradodot.info/projects/us-34-truss-bridge or call 970-685-0229 for project updates.

Following both closures, 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 that are outside of the roadway 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.

SEMA Construction, Inc. is the contractor for this $3.8 million project scheduled to be complete by Memorial Day 2010.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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