Elkhead road reopens

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The temporary detour road across Elkhead Reservoir has reopened to traffic because the high waters caused by spring runoff have subsided.

The construction detour road was closed April 17 when high water in Elkhead Creek forced workers to cut a breach in the road on the north side inlet to the reservoir to keep the road from being washed out.

The detour road was built for local residents who usually use the road over the dam.

The dam road was closed last fall because workers are raisin the dam height by 25 feet in a Colorado River District project that will almost double the size of the reservoir's water storage.

Ray Tenney, the district's water resources engineer, said construction at the reservoir is on schedule.

"The weather is cooperating now, and we are pleased with the progress," Tenney said. "We are on track to complete work on the dam by late November."

Tenney said the road over the dam will then be reopened.

When the complete $32 million expansion project is finished in 2007, the reservoir will hold 24,888 acre-feet of water, compared with the previous 13,800 acre-feet.

The original dam was built in 1974 and stood 80 feet tall. The new dam will be 105 feet tall.

Travelers heading to the Routt County side of the reservoir are once again able to take Moffat County Road 29 to the detour road across the reservoir to Routt County Road 78.

An alternate route is to drive north out of Hayden on Routt County Road 76.

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext.207, or dolsen@craigdailypress.com.

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