Last Colorado road damaged by flooding reopens

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LYONS, Colo. -- Highway 7, which runs from Lyons to Raymond and Allenspark, reopened Tuesday. It opened about a week ahead of the December 1 target date set back in September, following the flooding which hit Colorado.

It was the last flood-damaged road to reopen. Crews got 39 other roads open before this one.

“CDOT and their contracted crews have done amazing work,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “The December date didn’t seem possible, but these folks did it!”

The Governor on hand to cut yet another ribbon stretched across a flood-damaged roadway, flanked by the Colorado Strong banner and flag, which blew gently in the chilled breeze.

Tons of asphalt, rip rap, road base, concrete barriers and culverts have been used to fix state highways 7, 72 and 119 and U.S. highways 34 and 36. The portion of Hwy. 7 wiped out in the South St. Vrain Canyon now giving the last residents forced to detour to get home their canyon back.

“This is a wonderful day for us mountain folks,” said Andrew Griffiths of Allenspark. “We have been finding alternate ways around for more than two months. This is a great day … time for mimosas!”

Crews have in many cases been working around the clock to beat the deadline to get the roads open before December 1 and Tuesday they did just that. Long stretches of mild weather this fall helped as well.

The historic flooding did much damage which is still in need of repair, but the Governor said they didn’t have any idea about the resilient nature of the people in Colorado. While work remains, much of that will be completed after folks take some time off for the holidays.

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