Colorado Highway 9 reopens near Hoosier Pass after weeklong closure

Communications issues from the Colorado Department of Transportation plagued the first day or two of the closure for frustrated commuters, but a week later the road is open again

Workers engage in construction activities on a chain station north of Alma along Colorado Highway 9 on June 22, 2023. A separate construction project on Colorado Highway 9 in September closed the highway near Hoosier Pass for a week, resulting in a major detour for those traveling between Summit County and Fairplay. The road is now back open after that closure.
Steven Josephson/Summit Daily News

Colorado Highway 9 has been reopened near Hoosier Pass after a weeklong closure to replace a bridge originally built in 1938, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Crews reopened the section of Highway 9 north of Alma around 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, according to a CDOT news release. Roadwork will continue in the area for another month, but drivers can expect minimal impacts with lane and shoulder closures while guardrail installation, pavement marking and other work continues.

The seven-day full closure was necessary to allow the contractor to get in and out of the area in minimal time, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Keeping the highway open would have reportedly required about 90 days of one-lane alternating traffic.

A map from the Colorado Department of Transporation shows the detour route for the closure of Colorado Highway 9 near Hoosier Pass that begins Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023.
Colorado Department of Transportation/Courtesy illustration

During the first day or two of the closure, miscommunications from the transportation department led to confusion and frustration among some locals who make the commute from Fairplay to Summit County.

For about an hour on Friday, Sept. 8, some commuters were turned away from the shorter, local detour over County Roads 4 and 6, instead being told they need to take the longer detour through Buena Vista and Leadville, an almost 2-hour and 120-mile route.

CDOT also acknowledge it had previously stated that local commuters would be required to take the longer route, only reversing that message after the closure had started.

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