Repairs Underway on Glenwood Canyon Bike Path

September 8, 2011 -Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3- Right-lane closure on eastbound I-70 in the Canyon required for crane, additional equipment and access.

GLENWOOD CANYON - A repair project is underway on the Glenwood Canyon Bike Path, which fell victim to severe damage caused by above-average flooding this spring. Nearly every spring following a typical April opening, the Colorado Department of Transportation has to close the path temporarily due to high water.

This spring, however, that closure remained in place much longer than usual:  the path re-opened in mid-April, only to be closed again on May 9. Sections were opened as water receded but the two-mile section between Shoshone Power Plant (mile marker 123) and Hanging Lake Tunnel (mile marker 125) has remained closed this entire summer. According to CDOT estimates, the river’s average seasonal peak at the Shoshone Power Plant is around 14,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). In mid-May, the flow was measuring some 18,100 cfs. Along the path, water was up to the railing in places (about 48 inches high on the path) and through the path’s eight-foot-high tunnel under I-70, the water reached six feet.

In early August, once water receded, CDOT contractor Lawson Construction began work to clear debris from the path, including large, damaged sections of concrete along the path’s two cantilever (self-supported platform) sections west of the tunnel. Some concrete sections had completely washed away. CDOT and Lawson Construction (coordinating with the US Forest Service and Corps of Engineers) will now begin full repairs of the path in hopes of getting back open to the public by late October or early November of this year.

The total cost of the damages and associated repairs is approximately $1.5 million. Contributing most to the project’s cost are the extensive damage to the cantilever sections, as well as the difficulty of accessing the path with necessary equipment. Major erosion to the embankment below the path will require transporting and placing—with a crane—an estimated 1,800 cubic yards of rock material to stabilize the area.

During repair work on the path (or “sidewalk”) crews will:

1.    Replace 60 square yards of concrete sidewalk panels on the cantilever sections west of the tunnel;

2.    Repair support beams on the cantilever sections;

3.    Replace about 300 square yards of concrete sidewalk, including embankment and fill material;

4.    Repair scouring (water erosion) under the concrete wall footers (or support bases);

5.    Replace about 700 linear feet of timber path railing and posts (and repair additional);

6.    Reconstruct a 45-cubic-yard concrete abutment (where the on-grade sidewalk meets the cantilever sidewalk);

7.    Repair sections underneath sidewalk that have eroded; a procedure call “slab jacking” will be used, which is essentially drilling holes into the concrete and filling voids underneath with grout.

“We originally thought the damages were minor, but after detailed examination realized this would be a more difficult engineering project. It has required extensive design work—much like any other highway reconstruction project—and construction access is going to be challenging,” CDOT Region 3 Transportation Director Dave Eller said. “We will rebuild the path to its original cross-sections and design—in the path’s 20-year history, this is the first major repair project we’ve conducted.”

TRAFFIC IMPACTS: The work on the path will require a right-lane closure on eastbound I-70 west of Hanging Lake Tunnel on most days, Monday through Friday, 7a.m. – 7p.m., through the project’s completion in late-October/early-November. Closure of some parking spaces at the overflow parking at Hanging Lake Rest Area will be required at times to stockpile material. CDOT will send updates to this lane-closure schedule as the work progresses.



Updated information regarding traffic impacts on this or other CDOT projects is available at or by calling 511. To receive project updates via wireless device or e-mail, visit and click on the green cell-phone icon in the upper right-hand corner. The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including Northwest Colorado.