Part of Coyne Valley Road scheduled for five-month closure beginning April 18 |

Part of Coyne Valley Road scheduled for five-month closure beginning April 18

Drivers will still be able to access surrounding businesses and the recycling center via Airport Road by Valley Brook Street

A road sign warns travelers on Friday, March 22, of the upcoming five-month closure of Coyne Valley Road starting April 18. Construction crews plan to allow access to businesses on the road despite the bridge replacement and road work.
Andrew Maciejewski/Summit Daily News

Beginning April 18, the town of Breckenridge is planning to close part of Coyne Valley Road for roughly five months.

The project will replace the existing temporary culvert — which was installed after 2011 high flows from the Blue River washed out the roadway — with a single-span, arched culvert and upgrade the recreation path with an underpass for pedestrians.

The $5.2 million project will only close a section of Coyne Valley Road, allowing access to nearby businesses and the recycling center via Airport Road.

Town Engineer Shannon Smith said the closure is necessary because the project will be complicated.

“This is a complex project that requires a river diversion, relocation of water, sewer, electric and communication lines, installation of concrete foundation, the placement of the culvert section and then the roadway needs to be rebuilt and repaved so all of those different tasks add up to the current schedule,” Smith said.

When the project begins, drivers will be detoured south to Valley Brook Street and then to Airport Road, which will remain entirely open and accessible during the Coyne Valley Road closure. A detour for the recreation path is also in the works and will veer around the construction.

Smith said she doesn’t foresee this closure impacting summer tourism traffic. More so, individuals who live on Peak 7 and owners of local businesses located within the area will be affected.

One such individual concerned about the effects of the closure is Broken Compass Brewing Owner Jason Ford. Although there is a second taproom location on Breckenridge’s Main Street, the brewery is located just off Coyne Valley Road.

From the intersection of Colorado Highway 9 and Coyne Valley Road, it’s about a .34-mile drive to Broken Compass’s taproom that will be affected by the closure. With the planed detour, that drive turns into nearly 3 miles.

Ford said he’s met with some of the town’s leaders already and said he has a meeting scheduled with Smith in the coming days. His biggest concern relates to how the detour will be an inconvenience to patrons.

“We have regulars that swing in quick and have a beer and say hi, and if they come clear into town and hit the detour, they’re not going to do that because they’re almost home at that point,” Ford said.

Peak 7 resident Nathan Saucy said he is also concerned about the detour and how it will impact his and his wife’s work schedules. Saucy said his wife works at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and usually commutes using Coyne Valley Road and Swan Mountain Road. Saucy said he usually drives her to work a couple days of the day week and sometimes picks her up too. That means the detour may add at least 15 minutes to his drive each time, he says.

“It’s going to change what we do in terms of how I pick my wife up because I’ll probably just stay at work later and pick her up at the Breck Station stop rather than having to go around because the detour takes you toward town,” Saucy said.

Saucy said he understands the reasoning behind the project but suspected there might have been other projects the town could have tackled before launching this one, such as repaving roads that have potholes. He said he also felt like the five-month timeline was too long, especially since it will be during summer months.

“Every time I want to go north and mountain bike up at Frisco Peninsula (Recreation Area) or every time I want to take my boat up to the lake, it’s now a 30- to 40-minute trip instead of a 15-minute trip.”

Ford agreed the five-month timeline was too long. He said July is usually the brewery’s busiest month in sales and that he’s concerned about what this detour will do to his business. As he conducts various discussions with the town, Ford said he hopes officials will add signage that specifically names his business as well as others located on the north end of Airport Road to let travelers know they are still open and accessible.

“This is something that is a big deal,” Ford said. “General detour signs aren’t going to help us much, but if we can put our name on some signs, that’s paramount to our success to get around these issues.”

Smith acknowledged that this closure was going to be an inconvenience to some, She said her department is working to ensure drivers know that Airport Road will remain accessible during the entire length of the project. She noted that the town is planning to tackle other high-priority projects, such as repaving of Main, French and Ridge streets. A second roundabout will also be installed on Park Avenue and this project will not close down the road.

In general, Smith pointed out that projects like these are necessary to keep the community functioning.

“We understand that the closure of Coyne Valley Road creates inconveniences to residents and businesses. However, it’s the government’s duty to keep investing in critical infrastructure,” Smith said.

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