US 36 & Community Drive Intersection Now Open
The intersection of US 36 and Community Drive reopened to unrestricted traffic flow on October 5, 2023. This new roundabout will improve traffic flow and increase safety at this busy intersection.
The patience of residents and visitors during this major project was greatly appreciated, especially when construction was hindered due to heavy rains.
Three temporary street lights will provide partial illumination until the expected arrival of new street light poles in late December. Reseeding of disturbed ground is now underway. Landscaping of the central island and north side of US 36 will be completed by the Parks Division this winter and spring, with the goal of completion by Memorial Day 2024.
About This Project
The need for improvements at the intersection of US 36 and Community Drive was identified in the traffic study prepared in November 2009 for the Town's Events Complex project. Because the new Events Complex would result in increased traffic through the U.S. 36 and Community Drive intersection, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) designated the Town as the responsible party to determine and construct the improvements. In 2014, CDOT agreed to allow the Town to defer construction of proposed turn lanes due to the 2013 flood recovery efforts underway at that time. Since then, this project has undergone several design changes, and in 2018 a roundabout was proposed as the preferred solution. After receiving additional CDOT and Town funding, the Town bid the construction work in September 2022.
The construction of this project will improve the safety for all traffic in this intersection, particularly for westbound left-turning motorists on US 36. Completion of the project will fulfill the 2009 CDOT requirements for the intersection improvement.
This project is managed by the Town’s Public Works Department. The construction contract was awarded to the Colorado-based Mountain Constructors, Inc., and construction oversight is managed by consulting firm Cornerstone Engineering & Surveying, Inc. of Estes Park.
Project Updates History
- 2023 Updates
After experiencing 33 consecutive days of rainfall in May and June, drier weather has allowed strong progress on the project construction. The new stormwater collection system is complete at the intersection. Perimeter fencing is complete at the southwest corner of the project, and the Events Complex campground reopened for horse event campers July 1. The extension of the recreation trail underpass at US 36 is complete and the trail reopened to public use on July 13.
The curb, gutter, and central island for the roundabout are more than 50% complete. Placement of road base is in progress and the lower layers of asphalt paving are tentatively scheduled for early August. Eastbound traffic will be shifted onto the new pavement in mid-August for work to commence on the north side of US 36. Tentative completion of the project is targeted for September 1. The posted speed limit will be reduced from 50 to 25 miles per hour. Working hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Motorists are asked to drive with caution and follow the guidance of any traffic control signage, signals, and flaggers.
Construction activity on the new roundabout on US 36 at Community Drive by Mountain Constructors will expand north into US 36 beginning May 30. Travel will be limited to one traffic lane through the intersection construction zone. Travel delays should be expected, and a pair of temporary traffic signal lights will allow motorists to alternately travel either east or west on the one lane road. Emergency vehicles will have the ability to change the traffic signal displays as needed. The posted speed limit will be reduced from 50 to 40 miles per hour. Construction of this intersection is scheduled to continue through June 2023. Working hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Motorists are asked to drive with caution and follow the guidance of any traffic control signage, signals and flaggers.
Community Drive remains closed at US 36. During this closure, access to Stanley Park and to the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District’s dog park and indoor shooting range remains open from the south segment of Community Drive. The pedestrian tunnel under US 36 that connects the Lake Estes Trail with the Stanley Park Trail is expected to remain closed through June.
Mountain Constructors will begin construction of a roundabout at the intersection of US 36 and Community Drive in March 2023. Construction of this intersection will continue through late June 2023. Working hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please drive with caution and follow the guidance of any traffic control signage and flaggers.
Starting March 6, Community Drive will be closed at US 36 while US 36 will remain open to travel in both directions. During this closure there will be access to Stanley Park and to the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District’s dog park and indoor handgun shooting range from the south segment of Community Drive. Detour routes will be signed, including for the pedestrian tunnel under US 36 that connects the Lake Estes Trail with the Stanley Park Trail. This pedestrian tunnel will be closed during this first phase of construction.
Approximately in May, construction will commence on US 36 and travel will be limited to one traffic lane through the intersection construction zone. Travel delays should be expected as a pair of temporary traffic signal lights will allow motorists to alternately travel either east or west on the one lane road. Traffic lanes on US 36 will be open to travel in both directions during the Memorial Day weekend.
- 2022 Updates
No updates in 2022.
- 2021 Updates
Final design has been submitted to CDOT and is currently under review. The Town continues to search for additional funds to support the construction of this roundabout. CDOT and the Town continue to work together to complete required tasks including Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP). The conversion public notice has been posted on the project webpage and comments are due July 7, 2021. Comments can be sent to Christy Crosser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2020 Updates
The Town is resuming the design phase for this project, working with Cornerstone Engineering & Surveying. Currently, Cornerstone is working toward 60 percent design to be completed in September, followed by 90 percent before November.
This project is on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The status of this project will be reevaluated as the budget year progresses.
Since the last update, Town staff has been working diligently with the design and engineering team from Cornerstone Engineering & Surveying, and with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to meet environmental and historic preservation requirements for this project. With this effort underway, the Town looks forward to continuing the design of this proposed roundabout.
- 2019 Updates
The Town held a public meeting at the Estes Park Museum on Thursday, Aug. 29 to review and discuss the 30% design plans for the US 36 and Community Drive roundabout. Feedback on this proposed project is critical to its success and is very much appreciated.
A public open house will be held Thursday, August 29, 2019 to review and discuss the preliminary roundabout plans. Details on the open house will be announced soon. Upon completion of the technical reviews and public outreach, the final design phase will get underway. Final design plans are scheduled to be complete in December 2019. Construction is anticipated for 2021 and will be subject to confirming that the estimated construction costs are within the available budgeted funding.
Preliminary plans for the roundabout were completed in July 2019. These plans will undergo an extensive technical review in August by a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including Town staff from several departments (CDOT, Estes Valley Recreation and Parks District, utility agencies, emergency services, the school district, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation). The plans will also be reviewed by the Transportation Advisory Board at the next scheduled meeting.
After some adjustments to the draft Stanley Park Master Plan in early 2019, the final master plan was adopted by the Town Board in June 2019. This plan includes the proposed roundabout and a direct access to the fairgrounds area at the southwest corner of the US 36 and Community Drive intersection.
The preliminary roundabout design process began in March 2019 with Town Board approval of the consultant design contracts. The design process addressed the following project components:vertical and horizontal layout of the roadway to meet established standards for roundabouts provisions for deferring construction of the 4th leg of the roundabout (access to the fairgrounds area on the southwest corner of the intersection) drainage from the roadway to Lake Estes new and relocated utilities
The Town staff and the roundabout consultant conducted a Town Board Study Session presentation on the benefits of modern roundabouts and on the basic concepts of the three proposed roundabout designs within Estes Park: US 34 and MacGregor Avenue, Moraine Avenue and Crags Drive, US 36 and Community Drive.
The benefits of roundabouts to the Estes Park community will be discussed and presented at the January 8, 2019 Town Board Study Session. Learn more about the benefits of roundabouts by viewing the Federal Highway Administration's video.
- extension of the pedestrian underpass east of the intersection
- adjustments to the existing trail alignment near the southeast corner of the intersection
- pedestrian and bike paths connecting to, and through, the roundabout
- striping and signage
- construction specifications
- development of a construction cost estimate
- 2018 Updates
The Town was awarded a $750,000 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) grant through Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) for a roundabout at US 36 and Community Drive. This will be combined with the $968,000 already budgeted toward the design and construction of this project.
A public meeting was held May 9, 2018 to review and discuss the 30% design plans for the US 36 and Community Drive intersection improvements. Although attendance was low the feedback received was very helpful. As a result of the feedback provided, Town staff looked into the feasibility of a roundabout at this intersection. Soon after this idea was proposed, the Stanley Park Master Plan (SPMP) process was underway wherein the roundabout concept was evaluated. The SPMP has now affirmed this concept will fit the vision for future park improvements. Town staff is now preparing to resume design in anticipation that the Town Board's consideration of the SPMP will also affirm a roundabout is appropriate.
The Town is hosting a public meeting on May 9, 2018 to hear information and provide input regarding the proposed turn lanes on US Highway 36 at the Community Drive intersection at an open house May 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Estes Park Museum meeting room, 200 Fourth St. The project will help accommodate traffic accessing the Town's Events Complex. The open house provides the public an opportunity to review and comment on the preliminary design plans submitted by the Town\'s consultant, Cornerstone Engineering. The plans are 30 percent complete and under technical review by Town staff.
Residents are encouraged to arrive by 5 p.m. for an overview presentation and stay for the open house to review and comment on design drawings. For individuals who cannot attend the May 9 meeting, project materials will be available by May 1. Written comments may be mailed to Town of Estes Park Public Works, RE: US 36 Turn Lanes, P.O. Box 1200, Estes Park, CO 80517 or emailed to email@example.com no later than May 16.
Below are project plans specific to the US 36 and Community Drive roundabout. For additional resources regarding roundabouts, please visit the Transportation and Transit Studies page.
US 36 & Community Drive Roundabout - 30% Plans (July 2019)
US 36 & Community Drive Roundabout - Final Plan Set (November 2022)