I-70 Glenwood Canyon Safety Closure Update: Wednesday, August 11

Travel Advisory

August 11, 2021 - Northwestern Colorado

Glenwood Canyon cleared roadway

Glenwood Canyon roadway damage

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

Cleanup operations will resume again today, Wednesday Aug. 11, at 6 a.m. There was good weather all day in Glenwood Canyon on Tuesday, Aug. 10, allowing crews to work without interruption. Crews concentrated their efforts on work at MP 123. 5 (Blue Gulch) westbound and eastbound, with 100 - 110 loads being hauled out on Tuesday 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 focused on trying to open one lane in each direction by sometime Saturday. There are several steps required before that can take place on Saturday, so CDOT will continue to update the traveling public as we work towards this goal. Weather will also play a vital role in what a reopening will look like.

Interstate Clean up

On the east end of the canyon (east of Hanging Lake Tunnel): CDOT maintenance crews continued to load trucks with slide material. Crews continued cleaning from Hanging Lake Tunnel (HLT) to Bair Ranch, with 60 loads for the day for the east side crews. Crews also worked on cleaning for the second time an 8' x 12’ box culvert at Ty Gulch (MP 129.8) and were very close to having it completed with about ⅞’s of the material was removed. The priority will be to continue to work cleaning up all the slides on eastbound lanes from HLT to Bair Ranch, still a lot of material in this area..

On the west end of the canyon (west of Hanging Lake Tunnel): Crews hauled 45 loads and concentrated their efforts at the 123.5 westbound to build a super sack pad. Crews also worked to expose a drain at this location. A contracted crane arrives in the morning Wednesday and will begin placing up to 300 super sacks which were delivered Tuesday. Also, crews were able to secure pipe to reroute Blue Creek under the supersacks and pilot towards a downstream drop drain.

Contractor Gould Construction has mobilized equipment and is working at the damaged location of 123.5 eastbound.

Traffic control points at Exit 87, US 6 & 13 bypass, and at MP 133 are being run by a contractor. CDOT and contractor crews are jointly managing Exit 116; CDOT continues to be at both sides of CO 82 Independence Pass until the contractor can mobilize more flaggers.

Engineering Update

CDOT’s engineering teams were able to conduct a second in-depth assessment of roadway damage at MP 123.5 (Blue Gulch) and confirmed that the roadway infrastructure can accommodate reopening westbound I-70 to one lane after additional slide material is removed and temporary barriers, rockfall protection and other roadway safety devices are installed to safely temporarily re-open westbound with lane restrictions.

CDOT’s engineering teams were also able to provide a secondary assessment of the eastbound I-70 roadway infrastructure and confirmed that the roadway infrastructure can accommodate reopening eastbound I-70 to one lane after the reconstruction of approximately 100 feet of roadway embankment and temporary asphalt pavement, along with the necessary roadway safety devices. 

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.