Fewer delays on Highway 9 expected as project nears winter pause
Steamboat Springs — Drivers should expect a much smoother ride and fewer delays between Silverthorne and Kremmling in the coming weeks as crews enter the home stretch of the first phase of a major construction project on Colorado Highway 9.
Crews have completed three wildlife underpasses and are in the process of constructing the first wildlife overpass on the highway.
Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Tracy Trulove said road paving in the project area should wrap up next week.
Crews will continue working until early November, but much of the work will take place off the highway.
“We’ve already seen the most impactful work,” Trulove said.
Drivers will get a reprieve from the construction during the winter.
When the work ramps back up again in the spring, crews will work to install the remaining two underpasses and a final overpass.
In addition to the wildlife underpasses and overpasses, the $39.2 million project will widen the road, improve signage and striping and add wildlife fencing on the 11 mile stretch of highway just south of Kremmling.
This stretch of road was the site of 47 car accidents involving wild animals between 2007 and 2011.
Crews also will straighten some sharp curves in the road and flatten steeper sections to improve visibility.
Work in 2016 will be conducted from mile markers 126 to 131 between Kremmling and the Green Mountain Reservoir.
Trulove said Colorado Parks and Wildlife has plans to use tools such as game cameras to study animal movements around the roadway when the work is completed.
“I think what CDOT hopes is this can be a gold-medal type of project that — once we have data that says it works — maybe we can take it and duplicate it in other parts of the state,” Trulove said.
The entire project is expected to be completed by July, 2017.
For more information on travel impacts, email SH9Kremmling@publicinfoteam.com or call the project hotline at 970-724-4724.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10
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