Drivers urged to take detour around Highway 9 on Wednesday and Thursday
Steamboat Springs — Drivers who are planning to take any trips between Steamboat Springs and the Front Range on Wednesday and Thursday will want to take a detour around Colorado Highway 9 to avoid long delays.
Crews will be installing a new wildlife overpass on the highway between Silverthorne and Kremmling.
Delays of 45 minutes will be required due to road closures while the overpass is placed using two construction cranes.
The construction project’s public information team is recommending that motorists take U.S. Highway 40 over Berthoud Pass or Colorado Highway 131 through Oak Creek as detours to avoid the long delay on Highway 9.
With an ongoing paving project up on Rabbit Ears Pass causing delays, Colorado 131 could be the quickest option.
Last week, State Transporation Commission Chairwoman Kathy Connell said the construction project, which aims to make the highway safer for motorists, cyclists and wildlife, is going smoothly.
“We really had a good learning curve on the first wave” of the project that was completed last summer, Connell said. “I’m getting much less complaints this summer about the length of time drivers are getting held up.”
Connell added that the state is getting more requests for the wildlife overpasses and underpasses, including on Colorado Highway 13, a north-south highway that runs west of Craig.
Preliminary data Connell has gotten about accidents on the highway shows that since the wildlife fencing, overpasses and underpasses were installed on Highway 9, car versus deer accidents have decreased significantly.
In addition to the wildlife underpasses and overpasses, the $39.2 million project is widening the road and improving signage and striping on the 11-mile stretch of highway south of Kremmling.
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Construction on Sleeping Giant School has moved mostly inside as the roughly 100-person crew continues the push to complete the building by the end of summer.