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March 30, 2016

Lefthand Canyon construction update for March 30, 2016

Hello Lefthand Canyon Reconstruction Listserv Subscriber -

As you know, it's been a crazy, but not out of the ordinary, week or so of weather in Boulder County. The big snowfalls over the last couple of weeks have not helped crews in their pursuit of beating the phase I deadline of Memorial Day, but they're still optimistic that their current plans can be completed on time. The weather has also not helped with the contractor's work on keeping the road navigable when it's open to the public and even when they're supposed to be working, but I assure you that they are trying to keep up with the mud, ruts and potholes as they form. A discussion today led to some possible solutions that will be implemented ASAP and as needed when the weather gets cold and wet. Please feel free to contact me whenever you see an unsafe condition on the road and I'll do my best to get it fixed quickly and effectively.

The snow has not stopped the work though, it has only slowed it a bit, and progress continues to be made. Three bridges are under construction. The photo below shows wingwalls being poured at the site just west of Olde Stage Road. This is the last of the work that is needed at this site before girders can be set. In addition, the footers, abutments, and wingwalls are also ready for girder placement at the bridge at the intersection of James Canyon and Lefthand Canyon drives. Girders will likely be set in two weeks in order to give time for the environmental consultant to complete stream restoration work at the sites, which will be a lot easier without the girders in place.

Bridge wingwalls being poured

If you've traveled the road between US 36 and Olde Stage, you've seen the work taking place just up from the construction trailers. If you remember from the flood, this section of road was completely washed away and eroded and Boulder County had to bring in numerous tons of fill material just to create something people could drive on. The contractor is raising the road between six and eight feet and the site has been nicknamed "The Big Fill" because of the massive amounts of rock and dirt that is being hauled in from other parts of the current construction zones. The photo below is a pretty good picture of how high the new road will be, as you can see the surveyors below the bulldozer and how the new road's base is at their head level now.

The Big Fill

In addition to those two major undertakings, work continues throughout the zone to remove rock in the areas where the road will be moved into the hillside. All of the rock, soil and other material is going to be reused throughout the remainder of the project to build up the road in many areas and to armor it on the creekside. The photo below shows the crushing and screening operations taking place just east of James Canyon Drive. One of the main priorities of this project was to reuse as much material as possible and the contractor is doing just that. In addition to the rock and soil, all of the vegetative material will be either mulched and used to stabilize the soil or left whole and used in the stream restoration process to help control flows and create aquatic species and other wildlife habitat areas.

Crusher and screener

Speaking of wildlife, the contractors informed me that I'm not the only spectator at the job site and I saw for myself that the local deer population has been checking out their work too. The photo below shows a small herd of deer (right in the middle of the photo) that I saw this morning who didn't seem phased by me or the gigantic equipment rolling by all day. I promised them too that we'd get out of their neighborhood as soon as we can.

Deer watching the construction

Travel Restrictions

Travel restrictions are pretty much the same as they have been all month. The main zone remains closed on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with up-to 30-minute delays on Saturdays. The contractor is doing their best to keep delays outside of the closure areas to a minimum, but you may be stopped for up to 30 minutes should time sensitive work or unsafe travel conditions be present.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions, comments or concerns about the project in Lefthand Canyon or any other work around Boulder County.

Thanks again for your time, patience, and understanding. I hope you have a great week.



Andrew J. Barth
Boulder County Transportation