Drivers taking dangerous chances on off-route roads while I-70 is closed through Glenwood Canyon

Local News

EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Transportation, along with other county officials want to remind drivers to follow the suggested route when it comes to getting around the Interstate 70 closure at Glenwood Canyon.

“Don’t trust your cell phones they are really getting people into trouble,” Amber Barrett, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer said. 

Barrett said their crews have had to go and help stuck and stranded drivers who attempted to take roads that are not meant for certain cars, RVs, semitrucks or cars with trailers. 

“Emergency operations can’t even get through to help folks who are at the tops of those roads who need help,” Barrett said. 

She said the biggest issue is people are trusting navigation apps like Waze, Google Maps, Apple Maps and are ending up on roads that don’t go anywhere. Just in the last few days, they had to assist in helping a stuck Greyhound bus and semitruck. 

“Most of these passes don’t go through, they don’t go anywhere,” Barrett said. 

One of the major roadways seeing a traffic increase is Independence Pass. A CDOT representative told FOX31 and Channel 2 that before the I-70 Glenwood Canyon shut down, the pass saw on average about 1,000 vehicles a day but now there are about 7,000 to 9,000 vehicles on the pass daily. 

“As an alternative to I-70 … it just isn’t that,” Matt Inzeo, Communication Director with CDOT said. 

Inzeo said Independence Pass should only be used for those looking to visit towns in the area or people going up for recreation in the area but not for those passing through and certainly not large vehicles like semis, RVS and trailers. 

“In the reality it’s just tough driving for someone who is inexperienced,” Inzeo said.    

CDOT wants drivers to check the routes on their website before hitting the road and follow the route through Steamboat Springs.

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