Image provided by CDOT. “Rustic”, “Stove Prairie Road”, and “entrance to the canyon” added by YGR for reference.

The Colorado Department of Transportation expanding the shoulder width of nearly 6 miles of roadway in the Poudre Canyon.  While the original intent of the work is to reduce roadway departure crashes for motor vehicles, cyclists benefit by having a wider shoulder to ride on, making it easier for vehicles to safely pass.  The Poudre Canyon is a great ride but many cyclists avoid it, especially on weekends, because of narrow lanes and lack of adequate shoulders. These improvements will make it a safer and more enjoyable ride.Cyclists are still encouraged to take the lane when necessary. 

CDOT will be installing BIKE MAY USE FULL LANE and 3 FEET TO PASS signage soon. 

Project information

Project Facts

Cost: $2 Million
Contractor: Zak Dirt
Timeline: May – December 2021
Location: Six different locations on CO 14, Jackson and Larimer County

YGR Questions to CDOT

Was the project designed with cyclists in mind?  The project was not designed specifically for bicycles. The project was designed as a safety improvement project to reduce roadway departure crashes by allowing drivers additional paved roadway to recover and maintain control of their vehicle in the event the driver departs the lane. The shoulder widening also allows drivers to pull their vehicle further off the road in emergency situations. While it was not designed specifically with cyclists in mind, cyclists benefit by having additional pavement width to ride.

How did you determine what segments would be widened? A comprehensive study of the corridor was completed that looked at safety and budget available for improvements. CDOT had to balance the cost of widening with floodplain, right-of-way, and topography constraints.

Are other improvements planned for the future? There are currently no future widening improvements planned for CO 14 but there are projects related to the fire response such as replacing critical culverts within the Poudre Canyon. Additionally, pavement maintenance is ongoing and performed cyclically as well as when emergency repairs are needed.

When was the first segment completed?  The first segment was completed in June 2021

Which segments are currently completed? Segment 5 and 6 (between approximately MP 117 and MP 120) were worked on concurrently and completed at the end of July 2021.  Segment 1 (from approximately MP 85 to MP 86) will be completed on 9/9.

When will the last segment be completed? Pending weather and unforeseen circumstances the project is expected to be completed sometime in the early winter.

How many miles or feet in total will be widened?  There are roughly 6 miles total when you add up the segments but in each segment, there is widening on both sides in some places and not in others.

Segment 5. Photo by YGR.

Segment 6, the entrance to the Poudre Canyon. Photo by YGR.