GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) announced Monday that Interstate 70 reopened in Glenwood Canyon after closing Aug. 10 due to the Grizzly Creek Fire.
CDOT said motorists should prepare for reduced speeds, no stopping in the canyon, and closures due to mudslides and other events.
The closure was located between Glenwood Springs (Mile Point 116) and Gypsum (MP 140). Wildfires in other parts of Colorado continue to affect Colorado Highways 14 and 139.
Motorists will encounter a lower speed limit and should anticipate more safety closures after rains or other weather. Motorists should also plan for not being able to stop at rest areas in the canyon, due to rockfall and other hazards, according to CDOT.
A big change now: the westbound lanes have been temporarily transformed into two way traffic between Hanging Lake and Glenwood Springs. The road has been re striped and bollards setup to keep traffic moving safely and at one point two way traffic passes through what is usually a one way tunnel.
“There’s still a lot of work being done on the top deck (of I-70) most of the rockfall is occurring on to the westbound upper deck,” Grizzly Creek Fire public information officer Tom Story said.
CDOT said travelers should prepare for intermittent closures on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon that are required for repairs after the Grizzly Creek Fire or if conditions in the canyon require a safety closure. Repairs include the replacement of power poles by aerial operations, which require closing the interstate. The roadway and structures along the eastbound deck have been reviewed and are safe to travel on.
CDOT said it has a plan in place for needed emergency closures due to rockfall, mudslides or other impacts from burn scars on the canyon walls. We have stationed personnel in the canyon to allow quick response to any events that could impact the roads. Those personnel have the equipment necessary to restrict traffic so that CDOT can safely clear the road and assess damage before reopening. CDOT is also working on plans to bolster long-term resiliency to sediment fall and avalanche.
CDOT will continue to monitor conditions in the canyon and will restrict traffic when necessary to maintain safety for the traveling public.