Beginning the week of Sept. 9, the Colorado Department of Transportation will be working on a drainage improvements project in the High Park Fire burn zone through Poudre Canyon on State Highway 14. Crews will replace and/or expand six culverts throughout the Poudre Canyon at mile marker (MM) 102, MM 105.71, MM 106.24, MM 111.49, MM 114.92, and MM 115.43.
“The project is designed to improve existing drainage infrastructure and remove fallen trees and debris before it has a chance to come down the hillside,” said Project Manager Justin Pipe. “These efforts will reduce road closures and maintenance emergencies regularly occurring along the corridor during inclement weather, and will help improve the safety of the highway.”
The High Park Fire of 2012 greatly altered the landscape along State Highway (SH) 14 from Ted’s Place through the Poudre Canyon. The absence of vegetation made the hillsides unstable, which produces crippling mudslides and washouts that impact public safety, traffic flow, and the condition of the highway. It is projected SH 14 will be impacted by the High Park fire for at least the next five years while the vegetation is reestablished. In order to help warn highway travelers of the current risks of traveling through the burn zone, CDOT has already installed several signs throughout the Poudre Canyon (see attached photos) that will remain up during and after construction until the burn scar has healed.
CDOT will hold a public open house tomorrow, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. to review the culvert project goals, outline the schedule, and discuss traffic impacts with residents and frequent travelers of this corridor. This meeting will be held at the Poudre Park Community Center at 10000 W. Highway 14 in Fort Collins. Members of the public are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a meeting reminder
Each of the six culvert improvement sites will require one to three weeks of work as the team removes existing pipe or culvert, makes enhancements, and rebuilds the roadway over the drainage system. During the project, traffic will be reduced to a single lane of alternating traffic, which will be directed through the work zone by a traffic signal. Only one direction of traffic will be able to travel through the work zone at a time, and this configuration will be in effect 24 hours per day, seven days a week, with signals timed at two minute increments. On occasion, flaggers may be present to hold traffic at 10 minute increments or less.
Crews will work on the project from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and on Fridays from 6 a.m. until noon. Work hours were determined to provide the least impact to resident and tourist travel. No more than two sites will be under construction at a time in order to keep delays to 20 minutes or less during work hours and no more than five minutes during non-working hours. The speed limit through the work zone will be reduced to 30 MPH, and width restrictions will be set at 11 feet for commercial vehicles. Motorists are encouraged to build extra travel time, and to drive Slow for the Cone Zone!
Businesses and residents are encouraged to sign up for periodic updates at email@example.com, which will alert recipients of significant project activities or unscheduled delays. Additional information can be retrieved through the project information office at 970-430-0933 or by contacting ACC’s public information officer, Jody Randall, directly at 720-244-7312. Alternatively you may visit CDOT’s project website at www.coloradodot.info/projects and sign up for similar, but less regular, project updates.
American Civil Constructors, Inc. (ACC) is the contractor for this $2.35 million project. Collins Engineers, Inc. will be with the design of the project. Weather permitting, the project will be complete by January 2014.