Fall River Road to Trail Ridge Road Connector – Rocky Mountain National Park CO

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Description

A 2.1 mile segment of road was built in 1933-34 between the Fall River Road entrance and the junction with Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, completing a key link in the park’s highway system.

 The work was performed by the Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) with financing by the Public Works Administration (PWA) in the amount of $32,000 and incidental labor by relief workers from the Civil Works Administration (CWA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). 

Fall River Road was the original entrance on the park’s eastern boundary for access to Horseshoe Park.  Fall River Road was extended by the National Park Service (NPS) and Larimer County in the 1910s over Fall River Pass and on to the west side of the park.  When this road proved inadequate to the park’s growing flow of automobile traffic, a new road was constructed to the south to more modern specifications, which came to be known as the Trail Ridge Road.

That led to the need for a connector from the old to the new cross-park road.  The new connector followed the route of the old Fall River Road along the north side of Horseshoe Park (by Sheep Lakes) then turned south to climb up and join Trail Ridge Road at what is now called Deer Ridge Junction.  

The survey and design of the new road was done in the winter of 1932-33, but the actual construction began in Fall 1933 and resumed in the summer of 1934.  The roadway was graded to the new specifications, given a gravel bedding and coated with oil.  The contractor was Everly & Allison of Albuquerque NM (which also did the surfacing work on Trail Ridge Road).

At the time of construction, Trail Ridge Road was still known as the Fall River Pass Road and State Highway 1.  It and the connector are now part of State Highway 34.

The road has been paved and maintained over the years, but is otherwise unchanged from the New Deal era.

 

Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s
180,000 180,000

Source notes

Robert Coffey, Final Construction Report (1933-34) on Fall River Highway (High Drive-East Entrance) NR-1-A2 Grading.  US Department of Agriculture: Bureau of Public Roads, District #3.  May 18, 1935.

 

 

 

 


 

Project originally submitted by Richard Walker on August 20, 2022.

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Location Info


Fall River Road
Rocky Mountain National Park, CO 80517

Coordinates: 40.39676, -105.6238

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