By Logan Smith

(CBS4) — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) on Friday announced plans to restrict traffic during reconstruction projects on State Highway 7 between Lyons and Allenspark and on the full length of U.S. 6 through Clear Creek Canyon.

Repairs to the Highway 7 corridor will begin in September. The Clear Creek Canyon project starts this week.

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Both projects require the halting of traffic. A single lane will be used for alternating directions of travel through work zones.

A pilot car will be used to lead vehicles through the Highway 7 operation during rush-hour travel (6-8 a.m. and 4-7 p.m.). The canyon will be completely to through-travel outside of those times until Memorial Day weekend, 2020, CDOT estimates.

File photo. (credit: CBS)

“This schedule,” the agency stated in a press release, “was selected by community agency representatives because the closure coincides with the months of lowest traffic volumes on CO 7. While impactful, the alternative to this full closure would have involved alternating one-way travel on CO 7 with long, unpredictable traffic queues for several years.”

Both sections of roadway – 14 miles of Highway 7 and all 11.37 miles of U.S. 6 between state highways 119 and 93/58 – will be resurfaced and wider shoulders added.

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Historic Colorado Flooding In September 2013

2013 flood damage in the Lyons area. (credit: CBS)

Much of Highway 7 was damaged in the 2013 floods, as was the waterway itself after the flood and subsequent emergency repairs to the road. CDOT intends to rehab the creek as part of what it defined as the final permanent flood recovery repair project. It will be fully paid by federal emergency relief funds at an estimated cost between $55 million and $60 million.

Meanwhile, new guardrail will be added through most of Clear Creek Canyon.

CBS4 overheard police radio traffic two weeks ago that road damage may have contributed to two separate rollover accidents that happened an hour apart in the same area of Clear Creek Canyon. The Colorado State Patrol, however, could not immediately confirm that was case.

(credit: Golden Fire)

Clear Creek’s project will have a three-month suspension of work this winter. Completion is expected during the summer of 2022.

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Logan Smith