While Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park has remained open, when weather allowed, in the wake of this month's flooding, it was to close today to allow a convoy of heavy equipment to reach Estes Park, Colorado.
The closure was to extend into Thursday so essential heavy equipment for infrastructure repairs tied to the flooding can travel from Grand Lake to Estes Park. The equipment, including a large rock crusher, will be used to make road base around the Town of Estes Park, a park release said. The caravan consists of five trucks and heavy equipment with a combined length of 880 feet.
To safely move this wide and large critical cargo, starting Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. the closure on Trail Ridge Road was expanded to Deer Ridge Junction on the east and the Colorado River Trailhead on the west.
The caravan was to start over Trail Ridge Road this morning, if weather permited. Large and difficult to move, the caravan was to travel at 10 mph. Once the caravan reaches the junction of highways 34 and 36 at Deer Ridge Junction on the east side of the park Wednesday afternoon, Trail Ridge Road may reopen to the public.
On either side of the closure, in the morning and the afternoon from Grand Lake Entrance Station to the Colorado River Trailhead and from Fall River Entrance Station to Deer Ridge Junction, there would be traffic delays as the wide load makes its way east.
If weather permits and Trail Ridge Road opens Wednesday afternoon, it will close again at 8 p.m. Wednesday to prepare for a second caravan to pass along the same route and direction Thursday morning.
While scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, road and weather conditions may cause the operation to shift to Friday or even Monday.
This is a cooperative venture between Grand County, the Town of Estes Park and the National Park Service.
For the most up-to-date information on the status of Trail Ridge Road and park information, please call the park’s Information Office at 970-586-1206.