Avalanche mitigation to close I-70 over Vail Pass

Local News

A sign warns backcountry users about avalanche blasting near the Continental Divide near Vail, Colo., Monday, March 22, 2021. Evan Hannibal, of Vail, and Tyler DeWitt, of Silverthorne, were involved in an avalanche in the area last spring that buried a service road and destroyed an expensive avalanche mitigation system. The two are scheduled to go to trial Thursday, March 25, 2021, on charges of misdemeanor reckless endangerment. Prosecutors also are seeking $168,000 in damages in the rare case that some worry could deter other backcountry skiers and snowboarders from coming forward to report avalanches out of fear of costly retribution. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert)

VAIL, Colo. (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Transportation said Interstate 70 over Vail Pass will be closed at 9 a.m. on Monday for avalanche reduction.

The closure will be in both directions for approximately an hour. The closure points are eastbound at Exit 176 (Vail), with a commercial motor vehicle closure at Exit 180 (East Vail) and westbound traffic will be closed at Exit 195 (Copper Mountain/Leadville/CO 91). CDOT said travelers should plan ahead and seek alternate routes and expect delays.

Weekend avalanche activity from mountain snowfall

Avalanche danger has been high since a heavy winter storm hit the high country on Saturday and has continued through Sunday.

The first avalanche-caused death on Friday prompted officials to issue warnings about venturing into the backcountry.

“It’s terrible when we have to use an accident like this to remind people about the danger,” Ethan Greene, director of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center said.

That danger is enough for Greene to remind people avalanches are deadly and warnings need to be taken seriously.

Greene said the weather will create dangerous conditions for avalanches over the next few days.

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