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Highway 36 from Lyons to Estes Park reopens

5:54 PM, Nov 4, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - One of the main Colorado roads that suffered the most damage from the September floods is back open after National Guard troops and the Colorado Department of Transportation worked around the clock to repair the highway.

Colorado highway crews were joined in recent weeks by Army and Air National Guard troops from Colorado, Montana, Utah and Kansas to repair U.S. Highway 36 between Lyons and Estes Park, gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Transportation Department spokeswoman Amy Ford says construction on the highway was scheduled to be finished Dec. 1, but extra help allowed crews to finish early.

Ford says the work is a temporary fix and crews will do permanent repairs next spring.

For residents in the area like Deirdre Butler, Highway 36 used to be a road she took for granted. Next time she drives through, she'll think of it differently.

"When I first came along here, it made me want to weep. It really did," Butler said.

Signs of the massive flooding that swept through the area a couple months ago are still visible.

"With Estes Park, my understanding is Highway 7, Highway 36 and Highway 34 were all destroyed, so no business. Everybody must be really really hurting," Butler said.

Repairs are still underway from Lyons to Estes. Residents in the area say the reopening of Highway 36 is a sign is a key piece in the road to recovery.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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