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May 13, 2016

Lefthand Canyon construction update for May 13, 2016

Hello Lefthand Canyon Reconstruction Listserv Subscriber -

I hope all is well. Things are going well on the construction site and the contractor is optimistic that they'll meet their Memorial Day deadline of having a good road open between Olde Stage and James Canyon Drive. The road will not be paved by Memorial Day, but it will be a smooth and level gravel surface. Paving is in it's planing phase and they're shooting for early June to apply asphalt as long as the weather holds out. We're working on the logistics of post Memorial Day plans and anticipated travel restrictions, so I'll provide an update on that next week when things are more solid.

Expect Extended Working Hours Next Week

In order to help reach their deadline, crews will likely extend working hours until 7 p.m. next week. The work needed to be done is east of James Canyon Drive, so Lee Hill will still be a viable route with minimal delays. Should you choose to drive up or down Lefthand Canyon, the road will open at 4 p.m. and every hour and half-hour for a single pass before being fully opened at 7 p.m. The contractor is hopeful that this schedule will only need to be maintained for the next week or two.

Ongoing construction activities

Blasting is just about complete. They're currently focused on one spot just west of Olde Stage Road. The photo below shows remnants from the blast this morning. That's a full-size side-dump semi tractor-trailer next to one massive boulder. The next photo shows a good shot of just how big it is.

May 13 blast

It's going to take more than a sledgehammer break this boulder down into manageable chunks.


The smaller rock created by breaking down that boulder and others is now being used to build retaining walls in a few areas of the canyon on the uphill side. It's pretty amazing what an excavator operator can do with such large rocks. They're able to stack them like they're playing with Legos. Check it out.


A majority of the work Kelley Trucking is doing now is aimed at finishing the road in preparation for paving. They're adding material in places and grading it out in other spots. All of the material they're using to complete this work is coming from the rock they've already removed and are crushing into road base.

Traffic Signals

Traffic (stop) lights are being used in two places in the canyon due to the narrow width of the road. Unfortunately they are necessary to maintain safe travel for all, including cyclists. The signals are carefully timed to allow enough time to pass through the zone while traveling uphill. Please obey the lights and stop on red. Sometimes people think the light is malfunctioning when it's taking a long time for it to change from red to green. When a light is having an issue, it will be flashing red, so you will know to pass slowly through the zone. We'll get up there ASAP to get it working correctly again.

Thank you for your time and patience. Phase one of this project is almost complete!

Have a good weekend.



Andrew Barth
Boulder County Transportation