LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – The flood-damaged section of highway through Big Thompson Canyon will open temporarily over the Easter weekend.

Colorado Department of Transportation announced Tuesday it will use a pilot car to guide all traffic through the 3-mile stretch of US 34, starting at 4 p.m. Saturday to 8:30 a.m. Monday.

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(credit: CBS)

That section of the canyon has been closed since October 2016 for heavy blasting work. Since then, Kiewit Infrastructure Company has hauled more than 225,000 cubic yards of rock and debris out of the area. It puts crews ahead of schedule to begin the next round of work early. The holiday opening will give the public a chance to look at the progress. The canyon will reopen for the summer on Thursday May 25 before the Memorial Day weekend.

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(credit: CBS)

Roads, bridges, and homes along US 34 in Big Thompson Canyon were heavily damaged during Colorado’s 2013 floods.

(Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

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The canyon and its residents also suffered from flooding in 1976. CDOT engineers have been studying the impact of those disasters to ensure the newly rebuilt infrastructure is more resilient against future flooding.