CDOT continues to run pilot car escorts through Glenwood Canyon today

February 24, 2016 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - Two-hour-plus delays should be expected during peak travel times.

GARFIELD COUNTY –Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon will remain in a pilot car configuration at least through this evening.  The pilot car operation is open 4:00 p.m.-9:00 a.m. Traffic delays up to two-plus- hours should be expected for motorists who travel during peak travel times. Traffic volumes have been running high from 6:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m. and well up to 8:00 p.m. in the evening before volumes drop around 10:00 p.m.

Some changes have been made to the flow of traffic in an effort to keep vehicles from queuing on the Interstate.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS (Exit 116/114/111)

All eastbound I-70 traffic will be routed westbound to Exit 111 (South Canyon) to access I-70.

  • There will be Colorado State Patrol and CDOT Maintenance forces performing uniformed traffic control.

  • The eastbound I-70 on-ramp at Exit 116 will be closed.  This is to allow westbound CO 82 commuter traffic to utilize the two-lanes on the westbound I-70 on-ramp.

  • The westbound off-ramp at the Exit 114 (West Glenwood) will be closed in an effort to not add congestion to the roundabouts at Exit 114.

DOTSERO (Exit 133)/GYPSUM (Exit 140)

  • There will be Colorado State Patrol and CDOT Maintenance forces performing uniformed traffic control at Exit 133 Dotsero Truck Parking. Only commercial vehicles will be allowed to utilize the truck parking.  Passenger vehicles that travel to Exit 133 will be routed eastbound to Gypsum (Exit 140) to stage westbound on the frontage road (US 6).

PILOT CAR CONFIGURATION: Eastbound traffic is slow rolled in the one-lane configuration starting at Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) all the way to Grizzly Creek rest area where the pilot car picks up traffic. The coned off lane is for Colorado State Patrol, emergency services vehicles, law enforcement and CDOT/contractor vehicles as needed.  Westbound is slow rolled into one-lane starting at Exit 129 (Bair Ranch) all the way to the east side of the Hanging Lake Tunnel bore where vehicles will be configured into the Pilot Car queue.

The project team is working towards a goal of moving the canyon closure into a two-way (head-to-head) pilot car configuration in the eastbound lanes as soon as feasible.  The pilot cars would still be used to control the speed and flow of traffic, but in this configuration volumes would clear more efficiently.  Delays of up to an hour or more should still be expected in this configuration. Updates will continue to be posted on CDOT’s traveler information site at and recorded on the 511 phone line.   


Canyon Closed to traffic for continued work: 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

10 foot width restrictions in place on oversized CMV

Pilot Car escorts: 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. each day until further notice.

The Grizzly Creek, Hanging Lake and Shoshone rest areas will be closed for the duration of the pilot car operation. Bair Ranch (on the east side) and No Name (west side) rest areas will remain open. The Glenwood Canyon Bike Path remains closed as well. (Please note, local traffic coming from the west can travel as far as No Name; local traffic from the east can travel as far as Bair Ranch.)


Front Range motorists/Summit County/westbound motorists

CO 9 (Silverthorne) to US 40 (Steamboat Springs) west on US 40 (Craig) south to CO 13 (Rifle)

Eagle County/westbound motorists

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.

South alternate route

Uses US 50. Access to US 50 is available via Grand Junction for eastbound drivers and for westbound drivers by way of US 24/285 through the Salida area from the Front Range. (Please note, there is construction on US 24 over Trout Creek Pass east of Johnson Village in Chaffee County into early March; some blasting and up to 30-minute delays may be encountered.)

Cottonwood Pass in Eagle County and Independence Pass are both closed and not available as alternate routes. Frying Pan Road and Hagerman Pass are not recommended alternate routes.

BUSTANG SERVICE to and from Glenwood Springs has resumed.  Adjustments to the arrival and departure times from Glenwood Springs will be required due to the pilot car operation.  The times will be posted early this week at

TRAFFIC THROUGH THE CANYON:  The average daily traffic for Glenwood Canyon is around 300 vehicles per hour. Around the evening of the incident the average traffic was about 150 per hour; the volume starts to drop off significantly after 11:00 p.m. to less than 100 vehicles per hour.

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