NEDERLAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents who rely on Boulder Canyon to get to and from their home received welcome news from the Colorado Department of Transportation on Monday. A lengthy extension to road and rock work in the canyon was cut back.
“We’ve been dealing with patched asphalt and damage for the last six years, and now they’re doing the re-engineering and fixing that road to recover from the 2013 floods,” said Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larsen. “It definitely gets frustrating on days when they have four flagging zones. And it turns what’s normally a 25 minute drive or bus ride, into, the longest I’ve had, is an hour and a half.”
Since the spring, CDOT has closed Highway 119 Monday through Thursday for a few hours during the day for rock blasting. Changes and delays in the process pushed the project out. In October, CDOT said the project would be finished in September 2021, not December 2020 as originally planned.
On Monday, CDOT decided to eliminate two rock faces from blasting work and instead find alternative methods. Now completion of the project is once again slated for December 2020. Four hour-long closures are expected to be finished by March and single-lane closures could last for the remainder of the project.
“Most people recognize, this canyon, it needs the work,” Larsen said.
The project has already caused problems for area businesses.
“Because of the canyon construction we’re not getting the tourist traffic that we normally get,” Larsen said.
Hurricane-force winds over the weekend closed the Eldora Ski Area on Saturday and kept countless tourists away on Small Business Saturday. The news of fewer construction issues was welcomed by many.
“Nederland is open,” Larsen said. “Come join us at our restaurants, shop in our shops. There’s plenty to still do up here and we really encourage everyone to come up and join us.”