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Canyon road in Jefferson County closed due to flooding

Colorado 72 is closed in Coal Creek Canyon from Colorado 93 to Twin Spruce Road.
Credit: CDOT

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Steady rains over the past few days have caused flooding that forced highway officials to close a portion of Coal Creek Canyon in Jefferson County on Monday.

A 7-mile stretch of Colorado 72 is closed from Twin Spruce Road – which is in the canyon – to Colorado 93 in northwest Arvada.

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said this will be an extended closure until the water subsides and repairs to the road can be made. CDOT said local traffic is only allowed inside the closed stretch of highway, no through-traffic will be permitted.

Coal Creek Canyon Road is a popular cut-through and scenic road to get from Arvada into the Front Range mountains at Peak to Peak Highway near the towns of Nederland and Rollinsville.

The National Weather Service in Boulder issued an areal flood advisory for the canyon until 3:45 p.m. Monday. They said minor flooding from excessive rains will inundate low-lying and poor drainage areas that will in turn cause water to run over the road surface.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) provides these tips for safe driving in Colorado: 

  • Expect the unexpected. 

  • Slow down. 

  • Don't tailgate.

  • Be aware of emergency crews. 

  • Heed signs. 

  • Obey flaggers.

  • Stay alert and minimize distractions. 

  • Keep with the traffic flow. 

  • Plan your drive. 

  • Be patient and stay calm. 

It is also important to be aware of emergency vehicles. 

Colorado's Move Over Law requires drivers to move over a lane when there’s an emergency situation along the shoulder. If the driver can’t move over, they must slow down significantly to avoid an accident.  

The law was implemented in 2005 and strengthened in 2020. A CDOT news release states: "The updated law stipulates that if a driver is unable to move at least one lane away from the stationary emergency vehicle, the driver must slow down to at least 25 miles per hour on roadways with a speed limit below 45 miles per hour. On roadways with speed limits 45 miles per hour or more, motorists must slow down to 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit. Drivers that fail to slow down or move over commit the crime of careless driving, a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense that can result in up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300." 

CDOT recommends people check COtrip.org to find out about road conditions, construction zones, and traffic alerts. 

9NEWS also provides traffic updates and alerts through the 9NEWS app. 


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