February 26, 2007
Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363
Trail Ridge Road, the highest continuous paved road in the continental United States, is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year. This awe inspiring road needs work that is long overdue and will begin this spring. The project will focus on critical repairs such as resurfacing the road from Deer Ridge Junction to Rainbow Curve, and six roadway slump repairs between Forest Canyon Overlook and the Colorado River Trailhead.
Because Trail Ridge Road reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet, the only time to do work is during the summer. Park Service staff and the contractor will do their best to complete this major roadwork in a timely manner, on budget, and allow access to visitors. Following is important information about the upcoming road work.
- From April 1 through May 24, Trail Ridge Road will be closed at Deer Ridge Junction approximately 8 miles west of Estes Park at the junction of U.S. Highways 34 and 36. The closure will be in effect from Mondays at 6:00 a.m. through Saturdays at 6:00 a.m. The road will be open on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Weather permitting, Trail Ridge Road will open on the Friday before Memorial Day, May 25, not prior, due to construction.
- From May 29 through June 29, work will take place from Deer Ridge Junction to Rainbow Curve. During this phase, park visitors can expect 20 to 30 minute delays. There may be multiple areas of construction occurring concurrently and in that case the combined delay time will not exceed 60 minutes.
- From July 5 through the end of the season, night closures from Forest Canyon Overlook to Alpine Visitor Center will occur. Night closures will be in effect from 10:00 p.m. through 6:00 a.m., beginning Sunday evening and ending Friday morning. Night closures will not occur on Friday and Saturday nights. Due to high traffic on Trail Ridge Road during the day, night work is the only way the contractor can finish the project during the summer. Federal Highway Administration counters located at Forest Canyon have indicated only a dozen vehicles typically travel over Trail Ridge Road during these times.
- From July 5 through the end of the season, in addition to night closures, park visitors can expect 20 to 30 minute delays on Trail Ridge Road. There may be multiple areas of construction occurring concurrently, and in that case the combined delay time will not exceed 60 minutes. Although the majority of work will be done at night, some work, such as resurfacing, can only be done during the day due to temperature requirements.
- All closures apply to cyclists as well. Cyclists should be prepared for rough road conditions.
- Conditions permitting, Old Fall River Road should open on June 30. Old Fall River Road will remain open at night with current one way status allowing travel from east to west only.
The Federal Highway Administration awarded a $10.1 million contract to Kiewit Western Company and is administrating this project on behalf of the National Park Service. Kiewit was the contractor for the successful, major Bear Lake Road reconstruction project that took place in the park during 2003 and 2004. Funds are from the Federal Lands Highway Program.
Please check at a park visitor center, entrance station, or call the Rocky Mountain National Park information office at (970) 586-1206 for up-to-date information on road delays.