I-70 Glenwood Canyon Safety Closure Update: Tuesday, Aug. 10

August 10, 2021 - Northwestern Colorado

Super sacks


Super sacks 2

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

Good weather all day on Monday meant no interruptions for crews at work in Glenwood Canyon. 195 loads of slide material such as mud, rocks and trees (approximately 13 tons per load) were hauled out on Monday to dumpsites at Mile Points 119 (No Name) and 133 (Dotsero) on I-70, and Mile Point 9.3 on Colorado Highway 82. There was not an official weather watch on Monday from NOAA and there was no precipitation at the burn scar or in the canyon

Interstate Clean up

On the east end of the canyon (east of Hanging Lake Tunnel): crews continued cleaning from Hanging Lake Tunnel to Bair Ranch, loading trucks with 120 loads on Monday. Crews also focused on cleaning for the second time an 8' x 12’ box culvert at Ty Gulch (MP 129.8). Crews were able to clean about halfway through and also exposed three 48” culverts that will be cleaned out today (Tuesday). The priority will be to continue cleaning up all the slides from Hanging Lake Tunnel to Bair Ranch on the eastbound lanes as there is still a lot of material in this area. 

On the west end of the canyon (west of Hanging Lake Tunnel): crews hauled 75 loads on Monday and continued to excavate debris mud at the MP 123.5 eastbound (at Blue Gulch). The west side crew will concentrate on the north side of MP 123.5 to expose a buried box culvert and start making a pad for “super sacks” to sit tomorrow. The goal is to place 60 super sacks, or bags of bedding sand, to the north of the roadway to help protect against future debris flows in that area. Crews were also able to clean debris at MP 123.6 westbound.         

Engineering Update

CDOT’s engineering teams were able to conduct in-depth assessments of roadway damage at MP 123.5 (Blue Gulch) made possible by the weekend slide material removal progress. Overall, CDOT believes 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. This confirmation will help expedite the temporary westbound I-70 reopening timeline.

The engineering teams were also able to verify that the eastbound I-70 remaining roadway infrastructure can also accommodate reopening eastbound I-70 to one lane after approximately 100 feet of roadway embankment and temporary asphalt pavement  is reconstructed along with the necessary roadway safety devices. 

The engineering teams will be conducting additional inspections today at Blue Gulch. CDOT is also coordinating with Xcel Energy at Blue Gulch as Xcel’s infrastructure includes a high voltage line that provides service to CDOT’s Hanging Lake Tunnels and other major Xcel facilities within Glenwood Canyon. CDOT was able to re-establish power to the Hanging Lake Tunnels via a redundant feed from Holy Cross Energy.

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.