DENVER (KDVR) – The Colorado Department of Transportation is working to prepare as the weather warms up and Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon faces another spring and summer with possible hazard closures.

To help deal with spring runoff and debris, crews will soon resume a rockfall removal project in the canyon. The work with include clearing rock caught by rockfall fencing, repairing fencing and removing loose rock from the canyon walls.

On top of working with contractors to do that work, CDOT has been coordinating with the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, along with state and local agencies, to review emergency response protocol in case there are more I-70 closures through Glenwood Canyon.

Mudslides in July 2021 prompted an extended safety closure on I-70 for about two weeks. CDOT crews worked to remove boulders, dirt, rocks and other debris from the highway.

Road repairs were also necessary, and those were completed in December 2021.

Since January, CDOT contractors have focused on removing material from the Colorado River at six locations. The debris piles at these locations were created in summer 2021 by mudslides and other material flows.

CDOT said work is weather dependent and motorists are reminded to drive the posted speeds through the work zone and drive for conditions.

What would be an alternate route if Glenwood Canyon is closed?

If a safety closure of I-70 in Glenwood Canyon is anticipated to last longer than two hours, CDOT recommends a northern alternate route using Colorado Highway 9, US Highway 40 and Colorado Highway 13.

Westbound I-70: Drivers coming from the Denver metro area or Interstate 25 can travel westbound on I-70 to Silverthorne, then turn north onto CO 9. In Kremmling, travelers should turn onto westbound US Highway 40 towards Steamboat Springs. After reaching Craig, motorists can return south via CO 13 towards Rifle. Access to I-70 westbound is at Rifle.

Eastbound I-70: Motorists traveling eastbound from Utah or Grand Junction can reach the Denver Metro area by traveling the route above in reverse. CO 13 north to US 40 east to CO 9 south.

“CDOT has made tremendous progress in recovery from the 2021 mudflows,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew in a statement. “From fixing the road in record time to removing material from the river, as well as rockfall work and other mitigation, it’s been a team effort. And that team extends beyond this agency. CDOT will continue to work with agency partners to manage this complex section of I-70 and impacts on our vital alternate routes.”