Canyon work to prompt brief Wednesday closures | VailDaily.com

Canyon work to prompt brief Wednesday closures

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GLENWOOD CANYON— The Colorado Department of Transportation has announced there will be intermittent closures of Interstate 70 between Grizzly Creek, Mile Marker 121, and the Hanging Lake Tunnel, on Wednesday and Sept. 29 for helicopter operations in Glenwood Canyon.

Transportation officials anticipate between five and seven stops per day, each lasting less than 20 minutes. These stops will occur approximately every hour beginning shortly after 8 a.m. Stops will include pedestrian stops along the Glenwood Canyon bike path.

“This is one of the last major hurdles we face in completing this project on time,” project engineer Adam Cornely said. “A helicopter will be lifting 1,200 pounds of rockfall fencing materials into place between 100 and 400 feet above the roadway. Helicopter operations can be delicate in nature, so closing the road intermittently strikes the best balance between safety and keeping traffic moving.”

These short stops will take place a maximum of once per hour, and begin at 8 a.m. in an attempt to maximize the helicopter’s production during peak weather conditions. All helicopter operations are weather dependent and may require additional stops and days for helicopter work.

The helicopter will be operating in Glenwood Canyon several hundred feet above the roadway while traffic is moving. Transportation officials ask drivers to remain focused on the road and follow all traffic regulations in the work zone.

Stops on the interstate will only be performed when the helicopter lands, primarily for refueling. These stops will occur a safe distance away from the landing zone.

This work is part of a $7.3 million project. In addition to rockfall fence replacements, the project includes bridge rail and bridge deck repairs.