Amy Ford with the Colorado Department of Transportation told reporters just moments ago that Interstate 70 will not reopen this afternoon as crews and motorists had hoped. Strong winds in the area of Monday night’s rock slide prevented workers from using a helicopter, requiring hand-carrying of tools and equipment.
C-DOT’s Tracy Trulove says Crews conducting rockfall mitigation are working approximately 1,200 feet above the roadway.
Ford says officials hope to reopen one lane of I-70 through the area of the rock slide (six miles in total) sometime Saturday. Delays of up to one hour are expected. Commercial vehicles will be allowed through the canyon during the alternating pilot car operation.
Until the road is reopened, travelers have no other alternative but to use Colorado Highway 13 to US 40 to Colorado Highway 131 to access the Eagle Valley and Northeastern Colorado or Colorado Highway 133 to US 50 to access Southeastern Colorado. Other routes, including Cottonwood Pass, Crooked Creek Pass and Independence Pass are CLOSED FOR THE SEASON and are IMPASSABLE.
While Saturday is the target for reopening the road, it is possible that the crews may be able to open the road sooner, or even later.
A separate rock slide occurred early this morning near mile marker 117 on Interstate 70. Those rocks did not damage the roadway, but did knock out power to No Name residents for several hours. Ford says the most recent rock slide emphasizes the need to be diligent and methodical about the ongoing rock fall mitigation. Total repair cost for the rockfall mitigation and repair of the roadway through Glenwood Canyon is estimate to be two to five million dollars. C-DOT is exploring the use of disaster relief funds to help with the cost of the project.