I-70 in western Colorado remains closed

| 3/9/2010

If you’re wondering when Interstate 70 will reopen in western Colorado, the state Department of Transportation is saying it could be “an extended period of time.”

I-70 was shut down in both directions at mile marker 125 in Glenwood Canyon on Sunday night, March 7, after a rockslide heavily damaged the highway. One boulder weighs an estimated 66 tons.

Colorado DOT spokeswoman Mindy Crane told Land Line Now on Tuesday that workmen are using explosives to break up the boulders. At the same time, they’re checking the steep canyon hillside to see whether it’s stable.

Their big concern, she says, is a 20-foot-wide boulder.

“It’s still up on the slope. It’s about 900 feet up, and so we’re actually a little concerned. We want to make sure that’s safe before we even start our repairs and definitely before we reopen any part of I-70 to traffic,” Crane said.

Meanwhile, the recommended detour adds more than 150 miles to the trip and poses special challenges to truckers because of two-lane highways and steep grades.

– By Reed Black, staff writer