Flood Repair to Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain Park - My Rocky Mountain Park

Flood Damage Repair to Old Fall River Road in RMNP

The U.S. government has allocated $3.5 million to repair RMNP roads damaged by the 2013 flood. Old Fall River Road reopened on July 2, 2015.
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2013 Flood Damage to Old Fall River Road. Photo by NPS

2013 Flood Damage to Old Fall River Road. Photo by NPS

Update July 2, 2015: Old Trail Ridge Road opened for the season after nearly two-years of being closed to vehicles.

Update: July, 2014: Starting Monday, July 28, hikers and climbers are restricted from the Old Fall River Road area so that construction can begin.

May, 2014: The roads of Rocky Mountain National Park were hit hard by record-breaking floods in September 2013, and the U.S. Department of Transportation recently allocated $3.5 million to restore them through its Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads Program.

The funds will largely go to repairs on Old Fall River Road and the Alluvial Fan area

A historic dirt road built between 1913 and 1920 that winds up the steep slope of Mt. Chapin’s south face, Old Fall River Road endured sever damage during the flood. Typically, the 9.4-mile road is only open to cars from July 4 through early October, but it will remain closed to all vehicles throughout 2014.

Cars entering Old Fall River Road

Cars traveling up Old Fall River Road before the flood

The falls at the Alluvial Fan, an area still recovering from a massive landslide that occurred on Fall River Road in 1982, and later a flood in 2013. Photo by Greg Tally [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The falls at the Alluvial Fan, an area still recovering from a massive landslide that occurred on Fall River Road in 1982, and later a flood in 2013. Photo by Greg Tally [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The area around the Alluvial Fan, defined by nps.gov as “an assemblage of sediments marking a place where a stream moves from a steep gradient to a flatter gradient and suddenly loses transporting power,” also weathered flood damage. The road is currently closed at the East Alluvial Fan, and the Alluvial Fan Bridge remains washed out.

Access to and ease of travel within the park are important factors in making the park tourist friendly—an industry on which gateway town Estes Park, as well as other communities slightly farther away, depends.

Chairman of the U.S. Senate National Parks Subcommittee, Mark Udall greatly supports the funding.

“As chairman of the U.S. Senate National Parks Subcommittee, I understand firsthand how Rocky Mountain National Park is an economic driver for Estes Park and communities in Larimer and Grand counties. This important investment will ensure that the park is able to rebuild and continue to support mountain communities this year and into the future,” he said. “I have been proud to lead the effort to help Colorado rebuild smarter and stronger in the wake of the September 2013 flood. These new funds will help Colorado continue down the road to full recovery.”

www.nps.gov/romo/forteachers/upload/Teacher_Guide_to_RMNP_Geology.pdf
www.nps.gov/romo/parknews/pr_flood_impacts_will_close_old_fall_river_road_through_2014_backcountry_travelers_may_encounter_different_conditions.htm
www.skyhidailynews.com/news/11148437-113/national-park-mountain-2013

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