U.S. 34 Permanent Repairs (CP 1-4)
Best Project and Judges’ Special Recognition
Owner: Colorado Dept. of Transportation
Lead Design Firm: Jacobs Engineering
General Contractor: Kiewit Infrastructure Co.
Consultants: Ayres Associates; Muller Engineering; RockSol Consulting Group Inc.; WSP; Yeh and Associates Inc.
The Big Thompson Flood of 2013 severely damaged U.S. Highway 34 and also destroyed several bridges and hundreds of homes. The contractor completed temporary road repairs in just 59 days in 2013, and permanent repairs started two years ago. Those included road embankments and revetments, bridge replacements, drainage replacements, rock blasting, soil mixing, river rehabilitation and revegetation.
During the project, environmental concerns were paramount. The highway runs along the Big Thompson River and through both the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest and the Pawnee National Grassland. Consequently, the team had to comply with more than 100 environmental requirements.
In particular, stakeholders worried that installation of the revetment would increase the river’s pH value well above safe levels for water quality and aquatic life. Working with stakeholders, the contractor developed a daily water-quality-monitoring procedure. In addition, the revetment throughout the project required excavations below the water level. To help keep the river clean, crews installed a flocculent-and-filtration system to treat and discharge water from all work areas.
Traffic created another problem. Twice during the project, the highway was closed to all but local residents for eight months at a time. The project team managed daily residential traffic by designating morning and evening “open pilot hours” as well as initiating a “resident-scheduling service.”