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Coal Creek Canyon flood recovery project now complete

All bike and vehicle restrictions on CO 72 have been lifted through the 12-mile route.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — A Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) project designed to accommodate future flood events along State Highway 72 through Coal Creek Canyon is now complete.

The goal of the $9.5 million project was to minimize the potential for future infrastructure damage and road closures due to flooding, said CDOT.

State Highway 72 was closed for two months in 2013 when heavy rainfall caused extensive damage to the roadway, box culverts and slopes. Although emergency work in 2013 repaired damages to make the roadway passable, extensive permanent drainage and roadway improvements were needed, according to CDOT.

In addition, the flood recovery project constructed cross culverts, added guardrail, stabilized slopes, restored channels and built a shoulder along westbound State Highway 72 at the eastern end of the canyon.

“A goal of this project was to build resilient infrastructure. CDOT has built back bigger and better to meet current design standards. For example, old culverts have been replaced by larger ones capable of accommodating high flows and less likely to get clogged by debris,” said CDOT Regional Transportation Director Paul Jesaitis.

After previously closing Coal Creek Canyon to cyclists, CDOT said all bike and vehicle restrictions have been lifted through the 12-mile work zone between Plainview Road and Pinecliffe.

The Coal Creek Canyon Flood Recovery Project is one of the last CDOT flood recovery projects funded primarily by the Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program, which reimburses the state for eligible flood repair expenses, according to CDOT.

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