LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – CBS4’s Jeff Todd on Wednesday got an up-close look at the progress being made after the floods destroyed much of U.S. Highway 34 in Larimer County — the road between Loveland and Estes Park.
It wasn’t easy finding the way past the road closure a month ago, but now, with the help from the Colorado Department of Transportation, Todd went back down the highway and noticed significant work already taking place.
Down the Big Thompson Canyon there’s still some significant devastation and trash is still piled along the side of the road. A month ago Todd didn’t make it too far for his and photojournalist John Mason’s own safety.
On Wednesday they went much farther and saw areas where there used to be deep wide holes where the road used to stand now filled in.
The construction company undertaking the work says those were the small jobs. The big jobs are the stretches thousands of feet long where the highway was completely gone. That’s where most of the work is left before the self-imposed Dec. 1 deadline.
“I think my first reaction was, ‘Wow, this is really bigger and more devastating than I ever thought it could be and we really have our work cut out for us,’ ” said Will White, Kiewit Construction Manager.
“It may not be possible this time of year to get a paved road, so in that case there might be sections that are gravel,” Scott Ellis with CDOT said. “Worst case scenario there might be sections that are just one lane where we can’t get into two lanes. But we’re going to continue to work to having a two lane roadway.”
While a number of homes were destroyed there are a fair amount on the other side of the river that survived the flood. They’re really working to get the road open for those residents.
Next to happen is fixing dozens of private bridges that were damaged across the river that accessed entire neighborhoods.
Colorado Floods: How To Help
The recent floods are impacting families and communities throughout Colorado, so CBS4 has compiled a list of ways you can support the local communities impacted by the floods.
More Highway 34 Stories
- SUV Wedged Between Another SUV, Semi In Crash
- Small Business Owner Worries About Highway Closure: ‘This Is My Retirement’
- Highway 34 Reopens For Holidays In Big Thompson Canyon
- Child Reported Missing Dies After Pulled From Water
- Highway 34 Closed Through Big Thompson Canyon Until Next Year
- Crash Sends 8 People To The Hospital
- Crews Open Big Thompson Canyon To Traffic… For Now
- Flood-Damaged Highway To Reopen Over Easter Holiday
- Mixed Reaction On Highway 34 Closure Plan
- Proposed Extended Highway 34 Closure Would Shave Time Of Construction