ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – The Colorado Department of Transportation is proposing another extended closure of Highway 34 in the Big Thompson Canyon and not everyone believes it’s a good idea.
The highway, damaged by flooding in September 2013, is currently closed until May for construction to repair that damage.
The plan was to continue the work with intermittent lane closures through 2020, but now CDOT is proposing another complete shutdown. It would start between the narrows past Drake this October and last through May of 2018.
Residents were able to look at the plans at an outreach presentation hosted by CDOT.
“We’re going to build back better. We’re going to make this canyon more resilient than it was in the past. We’re not going to lose everything so there is emergency access, so people aren’t stranded, and we’re going to try to make this canyon as resilient as we can, as much as we can with Mother Nature,” said CDOT spokesman Johnny Olson.
“They need to have their lives back. It was disrupted three years ago with the flood, now they’re disrupting it again. It’s just like they’re being abused all over again,” said resident Joyce Kilmer.
CDOT says the closure would allow it to finish the construction two years ahead of schedule.