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April 22, 2016

Media Contact

Andrew Barth, 303-441-1032

Lefthand Canyon construction update

Hello Boulder County Transportation Listserv Subscriber -

Looks like spring is finally here, which hopefully only means good things for our ongoing construction efforts in Lefthand Canyon and everywhere else we're working right now. If you've traveled the Lefthand construction site, you've seen that two bridges have been opened and are now in use. Just in time too, because I'm not sure if those temporary culverts would've held the runoff we're currently seeing. The picture below shows the new bridge just up from Olde Stage Road.

Lefthand Canyon Bridge #3

Just up from the bridge, crews are working feverishly to construct a new culvert that will funnel water into the creek from the uphill gulch. You probably saw the old culvert (see photo below) sitting several feet away from where it was pre-flood. We had planned on reusing the old piece, but it was too damaged after getting a closer look.

Old damaged culvert

Here's the new culvert that's currently in construction (below).

New culvert

Excavation work continues in a few places, but crews are almost complete with this part of the effort in phase I. Check out the massive excavators being used to lift rocks like they're pebbles. I think I know what I want for my birthday!

Dueling Excavators

Just up from those excavators is a good example of roughly what the finished site will look like, without asphalt and revegetation, of course. The ditches are done, the road is level, and hydroseed has been applied to start regrowing some vegetation and to help with soil stabilization. Without it, the wind, which is almost always present, would create a dust storm and send all the fine soil flying down the road.

Hydroseed soil stabilization

As you move up the road closer to the James Canyon Drive intersection, on your left you will see Mt. Crusher. The massive pile of crushed rock, that is only growing every day, will be used throughout the project as road base to help raise the road and give it a solid foundation. Kelly Trucking, Inc. was serious when they said they'd reuse everything they could over the course of this project. The crushers they're using are top of the line and can be rented for roughly $30,000 a month if you have some pesky boulders that would be a lot easier to move if they were much smaller.

Mt. Crusher

The snowstorm last weekend definitely didn't help progress, but crews are doing everything they can to stay on schedule, which now means starting work at 6 a.m., Monday through Saturday.

Blasting work also continues at both the top and bottom of the zone, so expect to hear some noise once in the morning and once in the afternoon for the coming weeks. It truly is amazing how precise the blasting crew is with their work. I've personally witnessed a few shots and everything they say is going to move does so safely and effectively. They were even able to remove a large section near James Canyon where an old stage line sat precariously above the blast zone without moving a single piece of the stacked rock that marks the old route. An amazing feat when you're using hundreds of pounds of high explosive.

Travel impacts will be the same as they were in the last few weeks. Crews are working west of the James/Lefthand intersection, so you may run into a longer wait in this area, but Kelley Trucking will do their best to move you through the zone as soon as it's safe. Just use caution and give them room to operate.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Do not hesitate to reach out to me should you have any questions or need any assistance.

Have a great weekend.



Andrew Barth
Boulder County Transportation