Driver cited for hazardous materials spill on I-70 |

Driver cited for hazardous materials spill on I-70

Spill shut down eastbound lanes of interstate near West Vail

Interstate 70 eastbound underwent an extended closure near West Vail on Friday due to a spill of hazardous materials. First responders say the hazardous material is a “concrete additive” that fell off the back of a truck Friday morning.
Town of Vail/Courtesy photo

The eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 were reopened at about 12:30 p.m. Friday after an extended closure between exit 171 and exit 173 due to a spill of hazardous materials, according to EC Alerts.

The spill occurred near the Sandstone underpass in Vail and caused a backup of traffic from West Vail through EagleVail.

At approximately 8:30 a.m. Friday, emergency responders were called to eastbound I-70 at mile marker 174 in Vail to investigate a report of an unlabeled 55-gallon drum on the right shoulder of the highway. The container was leaking an unknown substance onto the right lane of travel and had a strong chemical odor. Responding agencies included Vail Fire and Emergency Services, Vail Police, Eagle River Fire Protection District, Colorado State Patrol, Colorado Department of Transportation, Eagle County Paramedic Services and Mountain Recovery.


Emergency personnel shut down the eastbound lanes of traffic while they determined the extent of the spill and identified the material. A short time after emergency personnel arrived, the company responsible for the drum, ABCO Contracting, based in Denver, returned to the scene to advise the drum contained a resin used in concrete construction. The driver told emergency personnel the drum had been secured and strapped to a flatbed trailer behind the company’s GMC Sierra pickup. When the container was loaded, the bottom of the trailer was covered with snow, and as the snow melted, the drum became unsecure and fell from the trailer.

Due to the respiratory and environmental risks relating to the chemical, I-70 eastbound was closed for the Mountain Recovery Environmental Recovery crew to clean up the spill. The entire closure lasted approximately four hours. Eastbound commercial vehicles were held in Dotsero as first responders worked to clear the area.

Support Local Journalism

Emergency personnel determined early in the response that no businesses or residences in the area were at risk, which allowed for eastbound traffic to be detoured along the North Frontage Road and westbound interstate travel to continue.

Eastbound traffic on Interstate 70 was backed up in EagleVail Friday morning after a spill of hazardous materials led to an extended closure between Exit 171 and Exit 173.
Kelli Duncan/Vail Daily

There were no further incidents during the closure.

The driver of the ABCO Contracting pickup was cited and released from the scene.

Support Local Journalism


Loading comments...