By just one vote, Estes Park’s board of trustees narrowly approved a controversial plan to create a traffic loop through the downtown area in order to combat increasing tourist gridlock. The 4 to 3 vote was a culmination of four years of project evaluations and discussions that divided the community on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. But bulldozers won’t appear any time soon. It will be five years before construction begins on the Downtown Estes Loop. The project will turn downtown Estes Park streets — including Elkhorn Avenue, Moraine Avenue and East/West Riverside Drives — into a one-way loop with the aim of easing summer traffic jams. The intersection of Moraine Avenue and Crags Drive with be converted into a roundabout for the project, and the Ivy Street bridge which was damaged in the 2013 flooding, will be replaced.
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