I-70 reopening pushed back to at least Saturday by foul weather

Updated Feb 18, 2016
 UPDATE: I-70 through Glenwood Canyon in Colorado is likely to remain closed at least until Saturday, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation late Thursday, Feb. 18. Inclement weather has created delays in crews’ progress bringing additional rocks down onto the highway and restoring safety. The opening time and day will be dependent on CDOT’s ability to complete mitigation and clear the roadway with the current weather conditions.
Interstate 70 will remain closed until mid- to late Thursday Feb. 18 in Glenwood Canyon following two rockfalls, including one that trapped tractor-trailer, earlier this week, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
No one was injured when this rockfall trapped a tractor-trailer on I-70 in Colorado earlier this week. (Colorado DOT photo)CDOT crews and other workers Wednesday continued rock scaling work at the location to bring down any additional debris. As a safety precaution, crews installed fencing along the westbound lanes to protect traffic. Crews also removed boulders from the eastbound lane.  CDOT Wednesday said the slope remained unstable.

A pilot car operation — directing single-lane, alternating traffic — will be begin Thursday and traffic will be routed to the eastbound lanes, which were not heavily damaged. According to CDOT, the pilot car operation could continue for several days while repairs and additional rock stabilization are completed. As repairs progress, CDOT will move to open one lane in each direction.

It could be several weeks before the damage to the roadway walls and roadway are repaired and the interstate is fully open to regular traffic operations, according to CDOT.

CDOT is suggesting a way to avoid the canyon:

The alternate route for westbound motorists is north on CO 131 at Wolcott to Steamboat Springs, west on US 40 to Craig, then south on CO 13 to Rifle and back to I-70. This is a 203-mile alternate route that will take about three hours and 50 minutes to travel. This detour adds 146 miles and about three hours to a regular trip from Wolcott to Rifle on I-70, which is 67 miles or about 45 minutes. Cottonwood Pass is closed and is not a viable alternate route.

I-70 drivers headed to areas in the southern part of the state are advised to use U.S. 50 as an alternate route.  Access to Highway 50 is available via Grand Junction for eastbound drivers and for westbound drivers by way of U.S. 285 through the Salida area from the Front Range.”

CDOT suggests drivers check www.cotrip.org for roadway conditions.