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Contact: Arlene Jackson, 970-858-3617 x363
Contact: Dan Hallett, 970-858-3617 x346
Fruita, CO – Rim Rock Drive from just inside the east (Grand Junction) entrance to DS Road has been closed for the last month for reconstruction. The National Park Service and Federal Highways Administration has agreed to extend the full road closure through May 4, 2018. The west entrance, visitor center and 18 miles of Rim Rock Drive remain open.
The extensive road project has been delayed due to weather conditions, tunnel complications and initial test asphalt strips not meeting required contract specifications. In order to complete the first layer of the asphalt, the concrete curbing and then lay a final layer of asphalt in the safest and most efficient manner, the full road closure has been extended.
“We realize this extensive project has been an inconvenience,” said Superintendent Ken Mabery “but the east hill has only been comprehensively addressed once in the last 40 years and we are ensuring it is done correctly.”
Old Castle SW Group, Inc has so far completed a full depth reclamation of the original asphalt surface. The old asphalt has been ground up and compressed to form the road base for the new asphalt surface. The road’s switchbacks included multiple layers of asphalt and dirt where the road had been widened in the early 1990s. These layers were also removed. The replacement of the concrete curbs and asphalt gutters along the road will ensure that water will not undermine the new road surface is in progress.
The No Thoroughfare Canyon trail head parking and the Devil’s Kitchen Picnic area parking will remain open with some temporary restrictions. There will be a day or two when those areas will be closed to allow the construction company to pave from the monument boundary through this area. The first full closure of that area will be on Monday, April 23. Those planning to use the picnic area or to hike on the trails for the next couple of weeks should consult the monument’s website to ensure the area will be open.
All visitors using the trails and picnic area on the east side are asked to follow the safety signage and directions of the construction staff. The safety of our visitors and staff during and after this road project remains the park’s top priority.
The goal of everyone associated with the project is to accomplish the needed work in an efficient, high quality manner while providing for the safety of the staff, community members and visitors.
Spring hours are now in effect at Colorado National Monument. The visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. For additional information please visit www.nps.gov/colm or call 970-858-3617, ext. 360.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.
Last updated: April 18, 2018