Avalanche mitigation work on Vail Pass snarls traffic in Vail | VailDaily.com

Avalanche mitigation work on Vail Pass snarls traffic in Vail

Roads were still gridlocked at 1 p.m. Monday after closure went into effect at 9 a.m.

A driver leaves her vehicle to evaluate traffic on the Main Vail roundabout Monday during a closure of Interstate 70.
Scott Reed/Courtesy photo

VAIL — Morning avalanche mitigation work took longer than expected Monday on Vail Pass, leaving roads and roundabouts clogged into the afternoon.

The Vail Pass section of Interstate 70 between exits 176 and 195 closed at about 9 a.m. and remained closed until around noon. At 1 p.m., eastbound roads were still gridlocked in the area on both the interstate and frontage roads.

The work was preventative; avalanches have been known to cover Vail Pass in the section known as the narrows near mile point 188.

Also on Monday morning, the Colorado State Patrol issued an alert for an accident in unincorporated Eagle County, saying it would only respond to DUIs, hit-and-run accidents and accidents involving injuries, vehicles disabled by damage or damage to public property.

People involved in accidents not fitting that criteria were asked to self-report accidents to the nearest state patrol office or online at CSP.State.CO.US.

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Vail Pass was also closed at 6 a.m. Monday for a vehicle recovery; the pass also saw numerous closures on Sunday as a blizzard blasted the area.

Low-elevation roads in Vail saw a break from blizzard conditions during Monday’s late morning and early afternoon hours, but the weather forecast called for more snow by the evening.

“Things will start to pick up on Monday evening and again overnight,” meteorologist Erin Walter with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction said on Sunday.

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