Semi-truck crash closes Glenwood Canyon, spills aluminum cans everywhere
Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon is expected to remain closed in both directions for an extended period following the rollover crash of a semi-trailer truck, a Colorado State Patrol spokesperson said.
Master Trooper Gary Cutler said the rollover, which happened shortly after 4 p.m., blocked traffic in both directions. The driver suffered no injuries.
The truck itself, however, was carrying aluminum cans. Cutler said the cans spilled out of the trailer at the time of impact.
“It’s going to be a lengthy cleanup because his trailer broke open when he rolled over,” Cutler said.
Cutler said, other than potentially bad weather, the cause of the rollover itself is still undetermined.
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A Garfield County Emergency Alert reporting the closure was originally released at 4:16 p.m.
Due to the extended closure of Glenwood Canyon, law enforcement in Eagle County requests local Dotsero traffic exits at Gypsum and take Highway 6 to Dotsero to avoid interstate backups.
The closure is in place between exit 133 (Dotsero) and exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) and is expected to last for several hours. The commercial motor vehicle crash is located at Mile Point 124.6, east of Glenwood Springs, and requires coordinated removal operations. If motorists need an alternate route, CDOT recommends using the southern alternate route. The route will add several hours of travel time.
CDOT strongly advises against using the northern alternate route, due to powerful winter weather conditions and road closures. All updates will continue to post to COtrip.org.
One commercial motor vehicle was involved in the crash, which took place today at the same location as a CMV crash and extended closure on Jan. 30. The tractor-trailer crashed while traveling westbound, west of Hanging Lake Tunnel. Speed is being investigated as a factor in the crash. Speed limits were lowered in Glenwood Canyon today during winter weather conditions and a slick roadway surface.
Crews are working to clear the vehicle, which was carrying canned beverages. It is possible crews will be able to reopen the roadway with one lane of traffic in each direction on Wednesday evening, but it will depend on how removal operations go and weather conditions. The scene is being evaluated to see if there was a hazardous materials spill. The only hazardous material identified so far is the diesel used to power the vehicle.
CDOT strongly advises motorists to check weather and travel conditions before using the southern alternate route. It is very important to check COtrip.org and weather forecasts before traveling. Smartphone users can also use CDOT’s free COtrip Planner mobile app. Drivers should anticipate additional traffic on the route.
Southern Alternate Route
To use the southern alternate route, westbound motorists from the Denver metro area can travel on US 285 to US 50, and continue west to Grand Junction. Travelers on I-70 can use CO 9 to US 285 south to US 50, or use CO 91 southwest to US 24 to US 50. Eastbound motorists traveling from the Grand Junction area can use US 50 east to US 285 and continue to Denver and areas nearby.