I-70 at Glenwood Canyon fully reopens after rock slide

By Land Line staff | Thursday, April 14, 2016

All lanes of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon, Colo., have fully reopened roughly two months after a large rockslide shut the highway down completely.

State officials say that stretch of I-70, about 135 miles west of Denver, reopened Wednesday, roughly 23 days ahead of schedule.

“This was a tremendous team effort from the contractor and subcontractors as well as CDOT staff and our geohazards program to complete the damage repairs and rock scaling to get the interstate open ahead of schedule,” Regional Transportation Director Dave Eller said in a prepared statement. “I’m really proud of this team, from the original incident response by CDOT maintenance to the assistance that was provided to us by local law enforcement as we made tough decisions about how to get traffic moving again after the initial rockfall incident.”

A pair of rockslide incidents on Feb. 16 prompted CDOT to close the roadway indefinitely at mile point 124.2, directly west of the Hanging Lake Tunnel. One semi-truck was caught in the slide and disabled; however, no injuries were reported.

The slide kept all four lanes of the interstate closed for nearly a week, forcing drivers on detours of up to four hours. In the following weeks, a pilot car program was instituted to open some lanes of traffic while crews worked to repair roads and remove boulders the size of small cars from the area.

According to the Aspen Daily News, the Glenwood Canyon bike path was also damaged in the slides. While most of the popular trail has been repaired, the stretch between the Shoshone exit and the Hanging Lake rest area is still closed. Repairs are underway and the section is slated to reopen later this week, CDOT said.

The average daily traffic for Glenwood Canyon is around 300 vehicles per hour.

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