I-70 is open through Glenwood Canyon
Vail, CO Colorado
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Interstate 70 through the Glenwood Canyon reopened about 3 p.m. this afternoon.
The Colorado Department of Transportation had been working on getting one traffic lane in each direction open on through the canyon since a rockslide closed the road early Monday morning.
Crews were able to open the interstate to one lane in each direction with a 14-foot width restriction, and speeds are reduced to 40 mph through the canyon.
Edwards resident Bob Angel says he was the first person to drive eastbound through Glenwood Canyon after I-70 reopened Thursday afternoon.
“I just got lucky,” he said.
Angel had taken a five-hour detour around the rockslide earlier this week so he could visit with business clients in Aspen.
He heard I-70 was set to open sometime Thursday, so he hung around Glenwood Springs, driving laps around road closure in hopes it would clear so he could take the shorter route home to Edwards.
“They moved the cones as I was doing my lap and I was the first car through,” he said.
Angel entered I-70 around 3 p.m. at exit 116 in Glenwood Springs. He said little evidence remained of the rockslide.
“I really couldn’t see the holes in the road but I just saw tons and tons of boulders on the sides of the road,” he said.
Angel said the boulders weren’t huge and looked like they had been broken up. He said some of the median divides appeared badly damaged.
Despite the boulders that crashed onto the road this past weekend, Angel, 52, said he wasn’t worried about driving on the highway.
“I felt safe because they wouldn’t open up the highway unless they knew it was safe,” he said.
CDOT Maintenance crews began clearing snow in the canyon early Thursday morning and began work to make the repairs necessary to open a single lane of traffic in each direction.
Crews cleared rock debris from all lanes which were brought down from yesterday’s mitigation work removing a large boulder above the fall area.The blast brought down about a dozen larger boulders, and many smaller rocks.
Repairs to the elevated roadway’s drainage system and roadway patching in numerous places where boulders punched holes in the road surface are currently underway.
Crews set up traffic control cones, barrels, and signage on the interstate Wednesday, so that when repairs were completed the highway could open quickly.
Delays are expected at first. CDOT will update on traffic delays as the project progresses.