Downtown Estes Park Loop

Project Description

The Town of Estes Park, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and the Federal Highway Administration, Central Federal Lands Highway Division (FHWA - CFLHD) are proposing improvements to the roadway network within the Town, known as the "the Downtown Estes Loop" project. The scope includes evaluation of three primary roadways: Elkhorn Avenue, Moraine Avenue, and Riverside Drive through downtown Estes Park.

Phase 1 Improvements map
View a larger version of the Phase 1 Improvements

Latest Project Concepts

Project History

This project originated through the Town’s 2013 application for Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) funds to explore a one-way couplet along Elkhorn Avenue, Moraine Avenue, and Riverside Drive. Approximately $17.2 million in funds were subsequently awarded through a combination of FLAP funds and CDOT RAMP (Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships). An Environmental Assessment (EA) was then initiated in the Fall of 2014. A multi-tiered screening process led to the decision to evaluate the environmental impacts of the No Action and the Proposed Action in the EA. The proposed action consisted of "Phase 1" improvements as well as future unfunded improvements. The Phase 1 improvements consist of a 0.9-mile loop of Elkhorn Avenue, Moraine Avenue and Riverside Drives. The future unfunded improvements analyzed in the EA included reconstruction of the Rockwell and Riverside Bridges and future channel/floodplain improvements.

The Downtown Estes Loop Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed on April 19, 2017 by CFLHD. The FONSI covers "Phase 1" of the proposed action analyzed in the 2016 Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Downtown Estes Loop Project. The future unfunded phases discussed in the EA do not have a funding source or anticipated dates for implementation; these future phases are not included in the April 19, 2017 FONSI/NEPA decision document.


The purpose of this project is to improve access to and from Rocky Mountain National Park by reducing travel time, congestion, and pedestrian and vehicle conflicts through downtown Estes Park as well as the associated negative impacts to visitor experience.


The project need is to improve system management and reduce severe congestion of the existing roadway network for both motorized and non-motorized users accessing and leaving Rocky Mountain National Park.

Project Photos

Typical Congestion During the Summer

Typical Congestion During the Summer.

Typical Congestion During the Summer

Typical Congestion During the Summer.

Key Project Dates

Environmental Assessment (EA): June 29, 2016
Environmental Decision Document (FONSI): April 19, 2017
Complete Final Design: Fall 2020 is anticipated
Right of Way Acquisition: Summer of 2017 – Spring of 2019 is anticipated
Advertise: Spring 2021
Construction Date: Fall 2021 – Spring 2022

Project Schedule diagram
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View a larger interactive map of the project area.

Project Details
Project # CO FLAP US 36(1)
Project Name Downtown Estes Park Loop
Location Larimer County
FLMA Rocky Mountain National Park
Status In Development

Contact Information

Project Manager: Morgan Malley
Phone: 720-963-3605

Federal Highway Administration
Central Federal Lands Highway Division
12300 West Dakota Avenue
Lakewood, CO 80228