DENVER (CBS4) - Thanks to some dedicated construction crews a portion of Highway 36 will reopen Monday, about a month earlier than anticipated.
The section will finally once again connect Lyons to Estes Park. The highway has been impassable for several weeks because of the destruction done by massive flooding.
"The fact that people will get into Estes Park freely now is really saying something," Amy Ford with the Colorado Department of Transportation said.
Weeks ahead of schedule CDOT crews are giving the green light for drivers who want to head up Highway 36.
"We had tried to commit that we would do all this before Dec. 1, and here we are almost a month early," Ford said.
By noon on Monday travelers will be able go directly to Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, saving time for homeowners, commuters and tourists.
"Really the bigger piece in all of this is we can't forget the economic impact of this roadway opening back up," Ford said.
The quick reconstruction is due to the National Guard from neighboring states rebuilding roads seven days a week, weather permitting. But the highway won't be exactly like the one that was washed away.
"It will be a paved road in each direction on U.S. 36, which is important to know."
Since September the road has been shut down except to locals, and now with more drivers on the road, crews say travelers should drive cautiously.
"The important thing to understand is that these roadways will have reduced speed. They will be drivable, they will be passable, but they are temporary at this point in time."
CDOT crews are still working on reopening highways seven, 72 and 34. The goal is to have all roads passable by Dec. 1.
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