U.S. 34 WORK FOCUSED ON NEXT BIG FLOOD
U.S. 34 in Big Thompson Canyon was closed to through traffic from October 2016 through May, and will close again in October through May 2018 to complete flood-recovery work well ahead of the 10 years the Colorado Department of Transportation thought it would take.
During a tour of the work completed so far, CDOT regional director Johnny Olson credited congressional funding for the progress.
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner on Friday got a firsthand look at what that federal spending has been able to create: a road that is redesigned in some spots, reinforced in many others and restructured to ensure there will be at least one lane available for emergency use through the canyon should a huge flood happen again.
Olson said Kiewit Infrastructure was able to apply techniques used to strengthen dams to fortify the roadway in areas such as The Narrows to create a hardened roadbed that will resist floodwaters.
“This is a resiliency platform that we look at in terms of innovation,” Olson said.