Nov 09,2018Dana Laratta
UPDATE: Please note the start of the planned closure of U.S. 6 Highway through Clear Creek Canyon has begun as scheduled as of January 7th. Work is scheduled to continue through April 2019!
Now that the planned summer break for the rock mitigation project that began in February is over, a full closure of U.S. Highway 6 through Clear Creek Canyon is planned to resume from January 7th into April 2019 (and possibly beyond, considering the start was delayed), completely closing "the canyon" to daytime traffic on Mondays through Thursdays. You can find complete details on closures on the announcement on the Colorado Department of Transportation's web site here. Once again, if your habit is to take "the canyon," be aware this will be a complete closure of both lanes, requiring an alternate route.
|Meanwhile, I-70 and the Central City Parkway have been |
clear of construction work for some time.
This $3 million project will include rock-scaling, removal of scaled rock, installation of rock reinforcement, rock anchors, mesh anchors, and 285,000 square feet of wire mesh. Motorists can expect daytime full closures of eastbound and westbound US 6/Clear Creek Canyon, Monday through Thursday, with work hours as follows:
|Check out some of the boulders removed in a 2015 |
rock mitigation project in "The Canyon."
Rock mitigation has always been a challenge along U.S. 6, with the Clear Creek Canyon stretch historically serving as critical connection point between Golden and the towns of Black Hawk and Central City. Traffic along the avenue would greatly increase with the passing of Limited Stakes Gaming in Colorado in 1990, tasking gamblers from Denver with the journey to the mountain towns.
If you've never driven the road, you can take a picture tour presented on the site AAroads.com, where you can also review a bit of history on the establishment of the route. There you can see that the towering rock walls of the canyon remain close to both the river and the road, making rockslides a concern that the Colorado Department of Transportation continually works to address. Small rockslides along the Clear Creek Canyon portion of U.S. 6 are not uncommon, most pass without incident and are resolved within a few hours.
|Larger rockslides, like in 2005 (pictured), may require |
blasting to clear fallen or hanging rocks
Some rockslides in the Canyon have proven to be much larger. In June of 2005, 200 tons of rocks and boulders spilled onto the roadway, closing the road for two months, a record road closure for the state of Colorado! Since its completion in 2004, the Central City Parkway has created a new avenue for reaching the towns of Central City and Black hawk, and this avenue became key for both towns while the Clear Creek Canyon rockslide was cleared!
Exit 243 takes you to the Central City Parkway, with four wide lanes
Mountains are made of rocks, and no road cutting through mountains to take you to your favorite destinations are immune to falling rocks, at all times. In 2014, the Central City Parkway experienced its first major closure due to a rockslide. Crews labored to remove the material and reestablish the avenue to Central City, and had access through the wider road restored within a week. With four lanes and a wider shoulder, the Central City Parkway overall faces much less concern and danger about falling rocks.
|The 2014 slide was a lot of rock to deal with, but nowhere near what |
"The Canyon" has produced in its major rockslide events.
We're thankful to our hard-working road crews for helping our guests to be safer when they come to visit us and have a good time. People find the the paths to take them where they want to go, and generally stick to them, making them a habit. Once again, if Clear Creek Canyon is your habitual route to Central City or Black Hawk, plan your schedule around the weekday closures for this rock mitigation project.
|Whether you're heading East or West, Exit 243 is the one!|
However, if "the canyon" might just be an old habit you haven't looked at in a while, consider trying something new! Try a new route via I-70 to Exit 243 to the Central City Parkway while Clear Creek Canyon is closed for traffic. It's wider, more scenic, and open for business!
Let the easy-to-remember route, and the destination of Century Casino & Hotel Central City, Denver's Best Casino, become your new favorites!