I-70 Glenwood Canyon Safety Closure Update: Monday, August 9

Travel Advisory

August 9, 2021 - Northwestern Colorado

dirt road       Clearing the roadway

Good weather during the weekend allowed crews to work without interruption on clearing mud and other debris from I-70 in Glenwood Canyon. CDOT crews were able to make significant progress during the weekend of Saturday, August 7 and Sunday, August 8, hauling 440 loads over the two days. Each truck load equals 13 tons of material. There was not an official weather watch over the weekend from NOAA and there was no precipitation at the burn scar or in the canyon.

Interstate Clean up:

Work included 204 loads hauled on Sunday, August 8, to the CDOT dumpsites at No Name (Mile Point 119) and Dotsero (MP 133) on I-70, and at MP 9.3 on Highway 82. 

On the east side of Glenwood Canyon, crews continued to work on loading trucks. The east side of Glenwood Canyon is from Hanging Lake Tunnel (MP 125) to the east. Crews cleared the remainder of the debris from the eastbound lanes at MP 124.3, which is an important area to assess in order to determine what is required to safely reopen I-70. Crews continued cleaning from Hanging Lake Tunnel to Bair Ranch, loading trucks with 110 loads on Sunday. Work will resume tomorrow with crews cleaning drainages and drop drains, and washing roadways. The priority will be to continue to clean up all the slides from Hanging Lake Tunnel to Bair Ranch on the eastbound lanes, where there is still a lot of debris.  

On the west side of Glenwood Canyon (The west side of Glenwood Canyon is west of Hanging Lake Tunnel): 94 loads were hauled on Sunday, Aug 8. Crews were able to completely uncover the remainder of the debris at the washed out area at MP 123.5 (Blue Gulch) eastbound, so that the CDOT inspections and CDOT engineering teams can get a better assessment of the damage. This is one of the most critical areas for the inspection/engineering team to inspect the potential damage now that the debris is cleared in order for visual inspection to occur.  That area measures approximately 120 feet wide on the north side/passing lane and narrows up to approximately 70 feet on the south side/driving lane (see photo). 

Crews will continue to excavate the debris mud out to original grade/solid ground today (Mon., Aug. 9).  Eastbound lanes have been cleared all the way to the MP 123.5 with rocks cleaned off (see photo). Also on the west side of the canyon, crews were able to remove a large boulder.

Priorities for Monday, August 9:

Crews will pick up where things ended on Sunday at MP 123.5. Smaller areas still need to be cleaned eastbound and westbound at MP 123 and westbound at MP 123.7-123.8, and all eastbound from Hanging Lake Tunnel to Bair Ranch.

The engineering team will be conducting inspections, with better access now that crews have been able to remove more debris.

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