Construction begins for first wildlife overpass on Colorado Highway 9
As the first phase of State Highway 9 wildlife and safety improvements progresses, the first of two wildlife overpasses will be constructed starting Thursday, Sept. 17.
The structure is one of several planned to reduce animal collisions along the highway that runs through the lower Blue River valley, frequently crossed by animals in the winter. From 2006 to 2009, the stretch of road has seen 287 wildlife deaths, and three driver fatalities, with collisions stretching from the north end of Green Mountain Reservoir to the Colorado River.
To reduce the dangers associated with the road, crews are widening and flattening Highway 9 from mile markers 126 to 137 over the next two years. Guard rails, shoulders and improved signage will also be added to reduce collisions. The plan also features five wildlife underpasses and two overpasses, unlike any other highway in Colorado.
Delays should be expected from Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 19, with work continuing from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. With two cranes installing the overpass that spans the length of the highway, expect 45-minute stops both northbound and southbound at mile marker 134 both Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, crews will work to complete paving from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
To avoid these delays, use State Highway 131 or U.S. 40 to circumvent construction.
Phase one of the project will continue until November this year, with construction anticipated to start again in April of 2016. The estimated completion date for the project is November 2016, weather permitting.
Improvements to this segments of Highway 9 are part of a larger effort by the Colorado Department of Transportation to ameliorate traffic and reduce collisions along the entire roadway, with several key improvements planned within the boundaries of Summit County.
At the end of August, CDOT fast-tracked plans for the Highway 9 Iron Springs realignment, which would straighten and widen the road between Breckenridge and Frisco, in addition to allowing for the restoration of wetlands in the area. Construction for the project is slated to start next summer.
For updates to the Highway 9 wildlife and safety improvements, call (970) 724-4724 or email sh9kremmling@PublicInfoTeam.com.
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