I-70 Glenwood Canyon Safety Closure Update: Thursday, Aug. 12

Travel Advisory

August 12, 2021 - Northwestern Colorado

I-70 Mudslide Work

Crews assisting crane operations to place a super sack wall in Blue Gulch at MP 123.5.

I-70 Mudslide Work

I-70 eastbound deck repairs at MP 123.5.

Note: photos for this update and all other summer photos are available in the media kit, which continues to be updated 

Cleanup operations continue today, Thursday Aug. 12. There was good weather all day in Glenwood Canyon on Wednesday, Aug. 11, allowing crews to work without interruption. Crews concentrated their efforts on mile point 123. 5 (Blue Gulch) westbound and eastbound, with over 200 loads being hauled out on Wednesday to CDOT dumpsites at Mile Points 119 (No Name) and 133 (Dotsero) on I-70, and 9.3 on Colorado Highway 82. There was no official weather watch from NOAA and there was no precipitation at the burn scar or in the canyon.

Reopening Interstate 70

CDOT crews and agency partners are still on schedule to open one lane in each direction by sometime Saturday. The National Weather Service is currently calling for possible precipitation on Friday so reopening timeline could be impacted.

Interstate Clean up

  • On the east end of the canyon (east of Hanging Lake Tunnel) Crews focused on the 12x8 box culvert at MP 129.8  (Ty Gulch) hauling 200 loads from that location yesterday. Crews also worked on washing and cleaning operations in anticipation for Saturday's opening from Hanging Lake Tunnel to Bair Ranch as well as debris removal on the bike path from Hanging Lake Rest Area to the Hanging Lake Trailhead.  
  • On the west end of the canyon (west of Hanging Lake Tunnel): Crews concentrated their efforts at the MP 123.5. Crews completed placing 156 super sacks with a crane (each sack weighs 1.5 ton or 3,000 pounds) to act as temporary rockfall protection and diverted Blue Creek west to the next drop drain. All the necessary traffic control barriers have been delivered. Crew made great progress at eastbound MP 123.5 by placing a rock embankment and crews are anticipated to be placing geotextile and road base today. This will allow paving operations to begin on Friday.
  • Crews also retrieved the D7 excavator from the railroad side of the canyon and offloaded it in Glenwood Springs.
  • Beginning tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 13 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. CDOT courtesy patrol will be on CO 82 Independence Pass to aid motorists in need.

Engineering Update

  • Eastbound I-70 at mile point 123.5 will be one-lane in each direction and the one-lane closure will extend to approximately MP 124.2 once the canyon for several months.
  • Grizzly Creek Rest Area will not open immediately as Xcel has relocated their generator to the Shoshone Dam and as a result, there is no power to the rest area. 
  • Hanging Lake Rest Area will remain closed until the USFS clears the trail.
  • Bair Ranch Rest Area will remain closed for CDOT emergency mobilization.
  • No Name Rest Area will be open when I-70 opens.
  • Shoshone Rest Area will be open when I-70 opens.

CDOT continues to coordinate with Xcel Energy at Blue Gulch as Xcel’s infrastructure includes a high voltage line that provides service to UPRR and the Shoshone Dam and Hanging Lake Tunnel within Glenwood Canyon.

Please note clean up work, repairs and reopening is weather dependent. Rain on the Grizzly Creek burn area may prompt additional mudslides.