Motorists can expect delays through Glenwood Canyon as rockfall mitigation begins |

Motorists can expect delays through Glenwood Canyon as rockfall mitigation begins

Expect 30-minute delays as spring rockfall season begins

Motorists through Glenwood Canyon will see half-hour delays as crews work to shave loose rocks from canyon walls before they break free and fall on the roadway.

“Motorists need to be aware that in the area of the rockfall, the interstate is limited to only one lane westbound. Motorists should drive with caution,” the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Lisa Schwantes said.

The season’s first Interstate 70 rockslide road closure hit Saturday afternoon when rocks and mud broke free from the canyon walls and closed both westbound lanes of Interstate 70. There were no injuries when several of those rocks hit a semi-truck, said the Colorado State Patrol. The westbound lanes reopened at 5:20 p.m. Saturday. The eastbound lanes were not hit and remained open Saturday, said the Colorado State Patrol.

A CDOT geotechnical crew visited the rockfall site Saturday and determined that more rock mitigation will begin Monday, Schwantes said.
“It’s that time of year — the freeze-thaw cycle,” Schwantes said.

Winter’s ice formations are thawing with moisture seeping into the cracks of rocks. That moisture then re-freezes and expands again when temps drop, eventually breaking up and apart the rock, Schwantes said.

“This creates the rockfall and rockslide hazard for roads near canyon walls and steep slopes,” Schwantes said.

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