Those planning a trip to Estes Park, Colo., and/or Rocky Mountain National Park should note that Highway 34 through the Big Thompson Canyon will close Monday and will not reopen until Memorial Day 2017. The highway was severely damaged in September 2013 flooding and repairs at the time were considered temporary. Construction this winter will include blasting through the mountain in one place to eliminate a sharp bend in the road that washed out in both 2013 and 1976 flooding.
For those traveling to Estes from northern Colorado, Highway 34 is normally the shortest route. They will now have to detour to the south and take Highway 36 from Lyons. CDOT says that will add only 15 minutes to the drive.
Canyon residents will be issued permits for limited access.
UPDATE, May 26, 2018: Construction on Highway 34 is finally complete and the road reopened yesterday just in time for the Memorial Day holiday rush. Thank you to everyone who worked so long and hard to rebuild this important route into Estes Park.