In Estes Park: Hwy 66 failing as Hwy 7 reopens
Update, Sept. 22: Two routes into Estes Park are now open to all traffic: (1) Trail Ridge Road, weather permitting, and (2) the Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway from Black Hawk / Central City. Closed indefinitely are Hwy 72 through Coal Creek Canyon, Hwy 119 from Boulder to Nederland, Lefthand Canyon from Boulder to Ward, Hwy 7 from Lyons to Raymond, Hwy 36 from Lyons to Estes Park, and Hwy 34 from Loveland to Estes Park. See listings below for current road closures, conditions.
The Estes Park Trail Gazette reported last night that Highway 7 into Estes Park from the south is being reopened to emergency traffic only.* Because of road closures around Boulder and points north, the access route will require heading north on Highway 119 from Black Hawk/Central City, and then through Nederland, Ward, and Allenspark to Estes.
While the road will be open only to those on critical missions, this signals that Highway 7 is not completely washed out. Vital news to residents of Estes. Until now Trail Ridge Road was the only way in or out of Estes, and winter weather normally closes it by the end of October.
In other news, the Trail reported that Highway 66 west of the Dunraven Inn in Estes is failing. That means the YMCA of the Rockies and all the homes in that area will be cut off. Residents were told to leave late last night.
The Rocky Mountain National Park website reports that although Trail Ridge Road is open for essential travel only, the park is now closed to recreational use.
Road damage in the area between Denver and Cheyenne is so extensive that it can be difficult to navigate from Point A to Point B without numerous detours. Most roads won’t reopen until inspectors confirm that roads and bridges are structurally sound.
And despite the fact that the sun is currently shining in north Thornton, more rain is forecast for later today and tomorrow.
*Note, Sept. 18: Highway 7 is now open to all traffic north of Allenspark. See “Two routes into Estes Park reopen to visitors.”
Some suggested news sources:
The Denver Post
Estes Park Trail Gazette
Boulder Daily Camera
KUSA Denver Channel 9
KMGH Denver Channel 7
KCNC Denver Channel 4
Rocky Mountain National Park
Boulder Office of Emergency Management
Town of Estes Park Facebook page
Town of Estes Park Twitter feed
Denver Post videos
Google Crisis Map
What you can do to help:
Current road conditions, closures:
- Estes Park flooding (videos) (piedtype.com)
- Flooding in Estes Park; webcams out of commission (piedtype.com)
- Unprecedented flooding along Colorado’s Front Range (piedtype.com)