Glenwood Canyon road work begins this week — expect some significant delays |

Glenwood Canyon road work begins this week — expect some significant delays

Head-to-head traffic pattern begins this week

The Colorado Department of Transportation is asking Interstate 70 Glenwood Canyon travelers to plan for additional travel time beginning April 2, when the head-to-head detour between Hanging Lake Tunnel (mile point 125) and No Name Tunnel (mile point 117.6) is scheduled to begin, weather permitting.

Westbound traffic will be shifted onto the lower, eastbound traffic deck where one lane of traffic will be open in each direction. Motorists should anticipate intermittent stops on I-70 eastbound and westbound for crews to install the head-to-head detour.

Significant delays are anticipated through the detour route. “Delay times will vary depending on travel volumes in the canyon. Plan for an additional 30 minutes to your travel time, especially during morning and evening peak hours,” CDOT Region 3 communications manager Elise Thatcher said. 

To help with some of the uncertainty that comes with travel in the canyon, CDOT is piloting new smart work zone signs that will provide live travel time estimates based on real-time traffic volumes. “It’s important for CDOT to provide the best information possible for motorists,” said Michael Goolsby, regional transportation director for northwest Colorado. “This is an innovative approach to providing up-to-the-minute conditions for drivers in a location where cell service and other communications are limited.”

Smart signs are placed in three locations outside Glenwood Canyon: on I-70 eastbound near Glenwood Springs (mile post 116), on I-70 westbound near Dotsero (mile post 133) and on westbound/northbound State Highway 82 near the Glenwood Springs city limits. Usual weekday travel peak hours are when motorists are commuting to and from work, approximately 7-10 a.m. and 4-7 p.m.

For estimated travel times, motorists can also call or text the project information line at 970-618-5379.

Motorists should use both lanes to the merge point, also called a zipper merge. Travelers should also be aware of posted speed limits through work zones, to keep both fellow motorists and crews safe.

Beginning concurrently with the head-to-head detour on April 2, the westbound on-ramp at Grizzly Creek will close for construction access. westbound motorists leaving from Grizzly Creek will use the eastbound I-70 on-ramp and continue to Bair Ranch for access to westbound I-70. This traffic pattern is anticipated to be in effect until late-June.

Routes and schedules are subject to change. Motorists are encouraged to sign up for traffic and trail impact updates by contacting public information via email,, or phone, 970-618-5379.

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