Interstate 70 remains closed Wednesday through Glenwood Canyon as crews clear 5 mudslides
Interstate 70 remains closed Wednesday afternoon in both directions between the Dotsero and Glenwood Springs exits because of several mudslides Tuesday night in Glenwood Canyon.
In a 9 a.m. update, the Colorado Department of Transportation said they are clearing five mudslides and are watching the weather through Wednesday. There is no estimated time to open the interstate.
“There are three slides on eastbound I-70 at Mile Points 127.5- 128.5 as well as a westbound mudslide from MP 130.5 to Exit 129 (Bair Ranch). There is also a slide on the Bair Ranch exit off ramp from the westbound lanes,” according to the Wednesday morning update. “At this time there is a greater than 30% chance of a Flash Flood Watch or Flash Flood Warning today for the Grizzly Creek Fire burn area, so the safety closure will continue to be in place as needed in order to ensure motorists are safe.”
The interstate closed about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when a flash flood warning was issued by the National Weather Service over the burn scar. A strong storm cell moved over the area from about 8 p.m. to about 10 p.m.
I-70 is also closed from the West Rifle to Canyon Creek exits further west but is open to local traffic at Exit 109, Canyon Creek. Motorists are asked to use the northern alternate route as a detour, and avoid using Highway 82 over Independence Pass.
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CLOSURES due to flooding & mudslides – Several roadways are affected this morning. Motorists should check https://t.co/uOU0HHbUQ6 for closure information and road conditions before traveling. Roads affected at this time are #I70 Glenwood Canyon, CO 14 and CO 133. #cowx pic.twitter.com/KClpYzUFEQ— Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) (@ColoradoDOT) July 21, 2021
Transportation officials are closing I-70 through Glenwood Canyon when a flash flood warning is in effect in the area because of concerns in the burn scar area from the 2020 wildfire, which burned more than 32,600 acres around the canyon.
“Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain over the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area. The expected rainfall rate is 0.2 to 0.5 inches in 1 hour. Additional rainfall amounts of 0.2 to 0.5 inches are possible in the warned area. Flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly,” the warning stated.
The section of highway has been closed numerous times this spring and summer because of mudslides that have gone across the road and into the Colorado River.
A section of Colorado Highway 133 south of Carbondale was closed overnight after three mudslides covered the two-lane road just north of Redstone. It was reopened to one lane by Wednesday morning. Also, Independence Pass was closed for a short time Tuesday afternoon because of a mudslide.
In northern Colorado, one person died and two are missing after flooding in the Poudre Canyon northwest of Fort Collins.
Go to cotrip.org to check for more updates around the state.
This is a developing story that will be updated.