Photo by John F. Russell
Traffic begins to back up on the way into downtown Steamboat along U.S. Highway 40 on Friday.
2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge
See Saturday's road closures here.
City of Steamboat Springs
The eastbound lanes of U.S. Highway 40 will be closed to traffic beginning at 11:45 a.m. Friday from South Pine Grove Road (at the Mountain Fire Station and Ski Town Fields) to Third Street to accommodate the 130 riders in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge as well as a separate time trial race for elite hand-cyclists from 12:15 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.
During the time that the eastbound lanes are closed, orange cones placed by the Colorado Department of Transportation will divide traffic headed in both directions on the two lanes usually reserved for westbound traffic.
Steamboat Springs Police Department Capt. Joel Rae said drivers can access the businesses and hotels located south of U.S. 40 via Trafalgar Drive, Anglers Drive and Pine Grove Road until the hand-cycling event starts at 12:15, then from 1 to 1:15 p.m., and finally from 2 to 3:30 p.m., when the peloton is expected to reach Steamboat.
Rae added that for all businesses located between the Iron Horse Inn and the Hampton Inn, the only access is Trafalgar Drive.
The Pro Cycling Challenge cyclists will arrive in Steamboat via Colorado Highway 131 to Routt County Road 14F and then take C.R. 14 (River Road) to the Mount Werner Road intersection at Tree Haus. Riders then will ride up the U.S. 40 off ramp in the wrong direction for the sprint into downtown.
As soon as the lead riders emerge onto the highway from the off ramp, all traffic on the highway will be stopped for safety reasons — including traffic in the coned westbound lanes.
To prepare for the finish, Lincoln Avenue was closed from Fifth Street to 11th Street beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday. Traffic was rerouted from Lincoln Avenue to Oak Street at Third and 11th streets during that time. Side streets closed at 10 p.m. Thursday.
At 10 a.m. Friday, Lincoln Avenue will be closed from Third Street to Fifth Street. That stretch of Lincoln Avenue will be the first to reopen following the event, with all other cross streets reopening as quickly as possible. Lincoln Avenue is expected to reopen at about 11 p.m. Friday.
As soon as the last racer finishes the race, CDOT will pick up the cones and traffic will revert to a normal pattern on U.S. 40 from Third Street east.
Like Oak Street, Yampa Street will remain open to traffic throughout the event.
Routt County and beyond
Friday's Stage 4 takes riders from Avon to Steamboat Springs, mostly via Colorado Highway 131. It’s best to avoid Colo. 131 if you’re heading to or from Steamboat on Friday, beginning at noon and continuing until 4 p.m. Alternatives include Colorado Highway 9 north from Silverthorne to U.S. 40 west at Kremmling, or Colorado Highway 13 north from Rifle to U.S. 40 east from Craig.
If you must travel on Colo. 131, expect closures and delays beginning at noon. Motorists may be permitted to follow a sweep car once the cyclists have passed particular points on the course, but expect slow going until the race stage is complete and the cyclists are no longer on the highway.