US Highway 34 Reopened
Thursday night, March 11th, around 8:30 p.m., the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reopened US 34 just east of Estes Park following an eight-day closure for bridge replacement. US 34 has been closed at milepost 66.3 near Drake since midnight on March 4th while crews demolished and replaced one of two steel truss bridges originally constructed in 1937. “This is the second steel truss bridge replaced as part of this project under a full closure of US 34 and both times we were able to reopen US 34 four days early,” said CDOT Resident Engineer Scott Ellis.
“This is a huge accomplishment as it usually takes months to replace a bridge, but by prefabricating much of the new bridge and working nearly 24 hours a day, we were able to complete the new bridge ahead of schedule.” CDOT would like to thank everyone for their patience, understanding and support during the two closures of US 34. Now that both bridges have been replaced, crews will be conducting some minor work over the next couple of months to complete the project. Some of the work includes installing the remaining drainage structures and paving 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.