US Hwy 36 To Close - Detour Map

The Colorado Department of Transportation and Flatiron Constructors will reopen US 36 between Lyons and Estes Park substantially earlier than originally expected.

The opening of the road will happen on Friday, March 27. Residents and others interested in the exact timing of the opening can sign up for email alerts by emailing the project team at

The one-mile section of this highway closed March 9 to install a deep drainage culvert beneath the roadway and was slated to reopen April 6.

Project officials are attributing the early completion of work at Mile Point 8 to lower-than-anticipated traffic counts, favorable weather conditions for much of the last three weeks, and Flatiron’s ability to work around-the-clock.

“The Flatiron Construction and CDOT team really accomplished something extraordinary here. They worked together around the clock, through winter storms, kept emergency services moving during a global pandemic and built major safety features on US 36 ahead of schedule. I’m so impressed with this team’s ability to get the public moving between Estes Park and Lyons earlier than expected,” said Brian Varrella, CDOT Region 4 Resident Engineer.

Crews worked day and night in a variety of weather conditions to accomplish quite a bit in a short time. In just 20 days they:

Created a temporary detour to maintain emergency service access

Excavated more than 10 feet of roadway to install the 14 feet by 10 feet concrete box culvert segments

Poured more than 150 cubic yards of concrete to build a large wingwall for the culvert

Improved sight distances along a 500-foot stretch of roadway through rock blasting, scaling and excavation of 3,000 cubic yards of rock

Backfilled the box culvert and rebuilt the roadway

“The project team would like to thank commuters, first responders, business owners and residents for their patience and support during this time. While full closures are always impactful, the work completed in less than three weeks would have taken many months to complete under single-lane closures,” Varrella said.

While US 36 is back open for travel between Lyons and Estes Park, there will be intermittent traffic interruptions including traffic stops and periodic short-term lane closures as construction continues through early 2021. Work will continue in the corridor to tunnel a new pipe under the roadway to put the Little Thompson River back into its historic channel. Crews will continue to replace guardrail and install fiber optic cable for safety cameras.


The purpose of this project is to improve overall safety, reduce future closures and permanently fix the damages caused by the 2013 flood. The 2013 floods were devastating to this region, and this project will help decrease the impact of future floods. This will be accomplished by installing two major drainage structures under US 36. This will return the Little Thompson River back to its original, natural channel. This project will also increase safety for everyone using the roadway by increasing visibility around a blind corner, as well as increasing the size of the shoulder.

The increased shoulder will make travel safer for cyclists and motorists, as well as increase space for safe snow removal. This will be accomplished through light blasting of the surrounding walls. This project is also being completed in conjunction with another project to install fiber optic cable for future cell towers in the area. Flatiron Construction will be installing conduit under the road to allow fiber optic to be run through later in the year. This will eventually increase cell coverage and add safety cameras to the corridor.


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