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APRIL CLOSURE OF ELKHORN
In April, Elkhorn Avenue will be closed for needed utility work. The closure of the intersection will begin the evening of April 8 and continue until April 30, weather permitting. If at all possible, the work will be completed sooner and the road reopened before April 30. View the presentation. Map of closure area and pedestrian detours.
April 13, 2018
The construction contractor completed the pour of the top slab of the box culvert this week. Following delays with rebar and post-tensioning work, weather and concrete delivery, this was a welcome accomplishment. In the coming week work will take place on the wing walls and head walls and tensioning will occur.
Utility Update: Estes Park Sanitation District completed their installation of the sanitation line across Elkhorn Avenue this week. They will transition toward the Moraine Avenue Bridge. Global Underground, subcontractor, is installing the water line, crossing the Elkhorn Avenue intersection by the end of the week.
April 5, 2018
In order to replace a valve for necessary tie-ins of new water lines, the Water Division must schedule a water outage for properties on a portion of Moraine Avenue, from the public restrooms at the Weist Parking Lot north to Rockwell Avenue from approximately 9 a.m. until 12 p.m., Friday, April 6, 2018. Affected properties were notified by staff and door hangers April 5.
Detour and parking map (detour applies for the project duration except during the April closure at the Elkhorn Avenue intersection with Moraine Avenue):
DRAFT Elkhorn Detour Map - Dec. 26, 2017
The Town of Estes Park and project partners are reaching out to downtown stakeholders during the early phases of planning a full closure of Elkhorn Avenue at Moraine Avenue, tentatively in April 2018 for an estimated three weeks. The closure will allow for critical upgrades to aging underground utility infrastructure between the Moraine Avenue Bridge project and Cleave Street on Big Horn Drive. First announced in summer of 2017, exact construction plans are still under development in coordination with the bridge project. Efforts to reduce the impact of the closure include agency coordination to reduce the duration, scheduling in April when there is less traffic, and additional wayfinding signage to direct pedestrians to businesses via sidewalks, which will remain open, and designated contractor parking to reduce impact to businesses and their patrons.
Town Administrator Frank Lancaster commented, "We sincerely appreciate the patience of businesses, residents and guests. While we wish we could spare everyone from the disruption, closure of this section of Elkhorn Avenue is the only way we can replace extremely old, failing water lines, storm drainage pipes and sanitary sewer pipes." He continued, "We experienced three major water leaks on Elkhorn Avenue in the height of summer in 2017, and Estes Park Sanitation has had two emergency repairs in Elkhorn in the last decade. We need to take opportunities like this to reduce emergency repairs, which are more inconvenient and damaging to businesses and the rest of our community."
The Town is beginning direct outreach to businesses in the construction zone and detour area. To accommodate access and delivery needs during the closure next year, the Town requests input from business on Elkhorn Avenue between Riverside Drive and the Water Wheel. Businesses are asked to contact Christy Crosser with the Town's Public Works Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-577-3574.
The utility work during the closure will include a brief, scheduled water outage with advance notification. Repaving of the road will be required in warmer weather after the utilities work concludes, although it will not require another full closure. More project details will be released in early 2018, and an open house for affected properties is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 21, 2018.
A major step toward flood mitigation and resilience in the downtown area, the Moraine Avenue Bridge replacement is another example of a major endeavor planned during the winter season in an effort to reduce impacts to the community as much as possible. This project is funded through a $2 million Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs through the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Visit www.estes.org/moraineavenuebridge for project updates. For more information, contact project manager Michael Todd with Cornerstone Engineer at 970-586-2458 or email@example.com.
March 30, 2018
The forms for the top slab are in place. The current work includes the installation of rebar for the top slab. The top slab reinforcement includes post tensioning components across the top deck. A subcontractor specializing in concrete post tensioning will be onsite early next week to install the tension cables. Concrete for the top slab is scheduled to be poured late next week and is dependent on the progress of of the post tensioning as well as weather.
Utilities work will continue within the bridge area, including tepehone, gas, water and sanitation. It is expected that Xcel and their subcontractor, SiteWise, will be purging the gas line during the week of April 16 which will cause an odor. A notice will be provided to nearby businesses.
March 28, 2018
The construction crew completed pouring the concrete trail and sidewalk on the floor of the box culvert this week. They also performed preparatory work in anticipation of top slab construction, which is anticipated to take three weeks. The temporary pedestrian bridge provides an observation point to view the three sections of the box culvert structure including the primary river channel located in the center and the future sidewalk and bike path on either side.
Relocation of the river diversion into the box structure will take place to enable construction of the north wingwalls. The contractor is hoping the bedrock can be removed with hammering and standard excavation practice, otherwise blasting will be required, tentatively March 19-21. If required, nearby businesses will be alerted to blasting. This process is often only hard or felt by those in very close proximity to the site.
Weekend work is expected to continue Saturday, Mar. 17, weather dependent.
March 14, 2018
In an effort to accelerate the Moraine Avenue bridge replacement project and reopen that section of U.S. 36 by Memorial Day weekend, the Town of Estes Park requested and receive additional funds from the Colorado Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. An additional $191,000 will allow modifications to the work schedule to help make up time lost during work by gas and communications utilities. The goal is to complete substantial work and reopen Moraine Avenue by May 25, with minor work continuing into June.
Public Works Director Greg Muhonen commented, “Understanding the inconvenience this flood mitigation project has caused, the Town has taken many measures to reduce the construction impacts to businesses and residents. So, it was particularly disappointing to fall behind schedule in October during gas and communications utility work. We are appreciative of this additional state funding to speed up key tasks and, weather permitting, in order to have the road reopened by May 25.” The funding will pay for extra construction crew overtime, a second diversion of the river to accelerate wingwall excavation and concrete placement, and alternative methods to expedite the backfilling of the new bridge excavations.
Update on April 8-30 closure of intersection at Elkhorn and Moraine Avenues:
The Town and project partners are on schedule for the full closure of Elkhorn Avenue at Moraine Avenue April 8 (evening) through April 30. The closure will allow critical upgrades to aging underground utility infrastructure between the ongoing Moraine Avenue bridge project and Cleave Street on Big Horn Drive. Sidewalks will remain open during the intersection closure, with crosswalks and signage to help pedestrians navigate. Traffic will be detoured at Riverside Drive, Weist Drive and Cleave Street, but access for deliveries will be maintained. A map of the closure plan is available at www.estes.org/moraineavenuebridge.
Town Administrator Frank Lancaster commented, “We sincerely appreciate the patience of businesses, residents and guests. While we wish we could spare everyone from the disruption, closure of this section of Elkhorn Avenue is the only way we can replace extremely old, failing water lines, storm drainage pipes and sanitary sewer pipes.” He continued, “We experienced three major water leaks on Elkhorn Avenue in the height of summer in 2017, and Estes Park Sanitation has had two emergency repairs in Elkhorn in the last decade. We need to take opportunities like this to reduce emergency repairs, which are more inconvenient and damaging to businesses and the rest of our community.”
Director Muhonen expressed appreciation to the State for an additional $104,000 granted to replace failing storm water drains discovered after the project began last fall. He commented, “In addition to all the other utility upgrades that have been possible with this project, the storm drainage replacement is of critical importance and will help protect our downtown during future rain events.”
March 9, 2018
The construction contractor will be placing a crane on the south side of the bridge beginning tomorrow, Saturday March 10, which will remain for approximately one week. This will be used to lift heavy equipment into the box culvert area for work on the wing walls. The crane will protrude from the construction site area and the safety fence will be placed appropriately to maintain a secure area.
The construction contractor completed installation of the box culvert walls this week. Once completion of the trail floor occurs, the contractor will be able to divert the river into this area to allow the build of the wing walls on the west side of the box culvert. The remaining wall forms will be removed next week. Shoring will be conducted and the indside of the box culvert will be cleaned in preparation of work to occur on the top slab. By the end of next week, the contractor will begin the build of the frame for the top slab.
March 2, 2018
Asphalt repairs are scheduled to occur on Moraine Avenue, tentatively March 6-7, weather permitting. Road conditions have rapidly deteriorated this winter and the Town has a window of opportunity to make permanent hot asphalt repairs to the temporary patch from utility upgrades on the southbound lane of Moraine Avenue from the Weist parking lot entrance to Davis Street. During the work, traffic control will be in place on Moraine Avenue. Northbound traffic from the Crags Drive intersection onto Moraine Avenue will be closed during the daylight hours. Southbound traffic will be open both days, and traffic will be diverted around the work areas. Access to Weist parking lot off of Moraine Avenue will be closed. Weist parking lot access off of Elkhorn Avenue will remain open. The Davis Street access to the Moraine Avenue work area will be closed Wednesday, March 6 only. Motorists are asked to reduce speed and drive safely through the work zone. For more information please contact Utilities Department Project Manager, Linda Swoboda at 970-577-4790 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feb. 26, 2018
Work continued last week with the installation of rebar in the flood slab and throughout portions of the walls. The crew built walkways along the wall forms in preparation for the upcoming concrete pour for the bottom slab. The pour has been delayed due to the recent cold snap. The construction contractor and the Town are monitoring the weather and the contractor has constructed an enclosed heated area to allow concrete placement during cold weather. The concrete pour for the bottom slab is now scheduled for early this week.
The Town and construction contractor have developed an acceleration plan to gain days lost due to gas and telephone utility delays. The proposed acceleration plan is currently under review with the State for determination of additional funding. Construction crews will work weekends to help make up lost time, as appropriate. There will be times when the crew will not be working due to needed deliveries such as concrete.
In preparation for the utilities work in Elkhorn Ave., potholing will be conducted soon. This is a way to accurately assess the depth and location of existing utility lines including water, sanitation, gas, telephone and storm sewer. This will require traffic controllers in the intersection of Elkhorn Ave. & Moraine Ave. with some minor traffic delays anticipated. Potholing is expected to be conducted this week.
A public meeting was held Feb. 21 regarding the Elkhorn Ave. utilities work and closure. The meeting also included an update on the Moraine Avenue Bridge project. The Town appreciates the public attendance and comments. Suggestions from the meeting are being evaluated to help address the public's concerns and help minimize the disruption to the local businesses and the public.
Feb. 21, 2018
Today the Town held a meeting for property owners and tenants in the vicinity of the Elkhorn Avenue closure and utility upgrades expected to occur April 8-30, 2018. View the presentation. Map of closure area and pedestrian detours.
Feb. 16, 2018
The level pad, for which the floor of the box culvert will be set upon, is now complete. The wall forms have been erected on both sides with additional height being added to the forms at a later date. Rebar is currently being placed on the floor slab as seen in the photo below. The week of February 19, the construction contractor will begin pouring the flood slab of the box culvert and will then set the rebar on the side walls.
Feb. 13, 2018
A banner has now been hung at the northwest corner of the US 34 / US 36 intersection indicating that businesses are open during construction. The contractors on the project are making significant progress. One of the form walls has already been erected!
Feb. 9, 2018
This week the Xcel gas main and the Town water main were installed across the river, under the new bridge structure. The contractor is completing final grading and preparation of the excavation area for the bridge structure/box culvert. Next, it will be pouring a concrete leveling pad in the excavation area, which will provide a hard, dry and level foundation for the box structure. Following installation of the leveling pad, the contractor will form and install reinforcing steel for the box structure floor system.
Feb. 2, 2018
This week, work continued on the bedrock removal and excavation for the bridge structure's floor system and utilities. The floor system for the new structure will be approximately one foot lower than the previous structure. Utilities, including water and gas main lines are scheduled for installation under the structure. Blasting was utilized for the necessary bedrock removal. The contractor continues removal of the blasting debris and works to prepare the sub-grade for utilities and the new structure. With the excavation area being below the natrual stream's channel bottom, around-the-clock de-watering with multiple pump systems is required. During the de-watering, turbid water is pumped through bag filters to help remove sediment. Periodic water sampling is performed to ensure water quality is maintained.
Once the contractor has installed the water and gas mains they will begin construction of the box culvert (bridge) floor. This work is scheduled to begin next week.
Blasting of bedrock at the bridge site for culvert installation is scheduled the week of Jan. 22. Blasting is expected to cause very little disruption and may not be heard nor felt. The area will be closed at the time of blasting. Property occupants in the immediate area will be notified.
The Town of Estes Park's contractor, Structures, Inc., is completing the work for the river diversion this week. The removal of the concrete box culvert is starting this week and includes saw cutting and hauling concrete from the site. This allows shoring to be complete in both the southeast and southwest corners before the installation of the new box culvert. Following is a photo showing what is being replaced. Please note there should never be exposed rebar within a box culvert. The new box culvert will also allow for increased flow capacity. For more information, please contact Michael Todd of Cornerstone Engineering & Surveying, Inc. at 970-586-2458 or email at email@example.com.
Mobilization of equipment and the start of shoring work on this project is expected to take place Monday, December 4 and Tuesday, December 5. Shoring is the process of installing reinforcing steel and concrete on the trench walls to prevent the exposed soil from sloughing into the excavated area. While shoring work is taking place, there will be times when pedestrians will be stopped for brief periods of time to keep them safe. There will be assistance on-site to help residents and visitors safely navigate the sidewalk alongside the excavation. It is ancitipated that the shoring work will be complete within the next 2 weeks. Once complete, 6-foot fencing will be installed around the perimeter of the project.
The Utilities Department is now performing work closer to the Moraine Bridge. Work will transition from the west side of Moraine to the east side. As a result, new traffic control signage will require drivers traveling south on Rockwell to utilize the west lane to proceed on Moraine Avenue. This is anticipated to occur by December 12. For more information, please contact Michael Todd of Cornerstone Engineering & Surveying, Inc. at 970-586-2458 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year, Estes Park celebrates the Centennial of its establishment as a Town. This reminds us that much of our infrastructure is aged. The Town is working to proactively address these concerns before they cause major issues at inopportune times. The Moraine Avenue Bridge Project is one example of a large-scale endeavor that has been scheduled during the off-season to reduce disruption and impacts to local businesses and residents. As made evident by three recent water leaks on Elkhorn Avenue, it is imperative that older water mains be replaced before more of these unpredictable incidents occur. While the replacement of aged water mains is a major undertaking, that causes disruptions in traffic patterns and limits access for visitors and residents alike, emergency water leaks cause even more damage and are a greater expense and inconvenience to all involved. The patience and understanding of business operators, property owners, local residents and visitors is greatly appreciated as we work to improve the Town's infrastructure to benefit everyone.
Work expected in the coming week includes continued utility work, completion of the pedestrian bridge, and signage improvements and additions. Continue to visit this webpage for regular project updates or For more information, please contact the Project Manager, Mike Todd of Cornerstone Engineering, at 970-586-2458 or email@example.com.
The Utilities Department is currently trenching in Moraine Avenue in order to upgrade utilities. Blasting will be required under the roadway where rock has been encountered. The area is between 157 Moraine Ave. and south to near Davis Street. This operation is expected to take place on Thursday, Nov. 2. Very little vibration and noise will be noticed as minimal and controlled blasting devices are used. Businesses in the area will be notified in advance by staff.
A temporary pedestrian bridge will be installed west of the existing highway bridge (up river) for ease of pedestrian access to businesses during the Moraine Avenue bridge construction. Removal of several existing aspen trees and shrubs will be required. Due to the size of the bridge, a crane will be required for unloading and setting. The bridge will be set from the eastern portion of Wiest Drive. In order to ensure public safety and minimize disruption to Wiest Drive, the eastern portion of Wiest Drive is expected to be temporarily closed the morning of Nov. 6, 2017. This will restrict access for deliveries and trash service during the morning.
For more information, please contact Michael Todd of Cornerstone Engineering & Surveying, Inc. at 970-586-2458 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update Oct. 23, 2017
The Moraine Avenue closure in the bridge area is now in effect. The Rockwell Street one-way has been reversed for westbound traffic (i.e. heading to Rocky Mountain National Park.) Eastbound traffic (i.e. returning to town from the national park) is directed at Crags Drive to take Riverside Drive to Elkhorn Avenue. Please follow detour signs accordingly. Minor adjustments will be made along the south stretch (one-way portion) of Moraine Avenue as needed for utility installation. All businesses on Moraine Avenue are open and all sidewalk accesses to these businesses are open.
Ted Williams, an area business owner, has volunteered to represent the interests and concerns of businesses in the area of the Moraine Avenue Bridge Replacement construction and can be reached at 970-577-0500 or email@example.com.
Work on the Moraine Avenue bridge continues with the relocation and upgrade of utilities in the area. Utility companies on-site include Estes Park Sanitation, CenturyLink and the Town of Estes Park Light and Power Division.
As of the October 18 meeting, the need for blasting has not been determined. Investigations are taking place to determine its necessity. If blasting is required, information will be distributed to Mr. Williams and will be made public via Town communication and the website.
The Town continues to work with the main contractor, Structures, Inc. and their traffic control contractor during this early construction set-up. As the different utilities continue their work along Moraine Avenue south of Rockwell Street, the availability of northbound access along Moraine Avenue will vary. The Davis Parking Lot is anticipated to be open during the upcoming weekends.
There are plans for a temporary pedestrian bridge to help navigate this construction area, keeping people safe and still allowing access to businesses. Every effort is being made to strategically place directional signs to indicate that businesses are open during construction.
Utilities work is expected to be completed by the end of December. Please stay out of the fenced areas. Thank you for your patience during this important flood mitigation project.
The Town of Estes Park and consultants at Cornerstone Engineering & Surveying are overseeing upgrades to the Moraine Avenue bridge crossing Fall River. The new bridge will reduce the risk of Fall River overtopping the road and affecting downtown businesses and residents in a future flood event. Construction is scheduled for completion in Spring 2018. This project is unaffiliated with the Downtown Estes Loop, and if both projects were to proceed to construction, there would be no overlap in disruptions. Design and construction for the upgrade to the Moraine Avenue bridge are funded by a $2 million Community Development Block Grant for Disaster Recovery from the Colorado Departments of Local Affairs and Homeland Security and Emergency Management. As the owner of U.S. 36/Moraine Avenue, the Colorado Department of Transportation has permitted project design and construction.
Using all available space, an upgraded Moraine Avenue bridge ill significantly increase the capacity to convey floodwater within Fall River. The Moraine Avenue bridge is one of five downtown bridges identified as top priorities for flood mitigation and reducing the size of the future mapped floodplain. Other flood mitigation projects are needed for the downtown area, and the Town continues to diligently research and pursue funding opportunities to implement the projects necessary to help reduce the flood risk for the downtown area.
Project updates are posted to this page.