GLENWOOD CANYON, Colo. (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis announced on Wednesday that Interstate 70 is expected to partially reopen through Glenwood Canyon on Saturday afternoon.
The Colorado Department of Transportation said “weather will also play a vital role in what a reopening will look like,” as “there are several steps required” for them to handle before one lane in each direction could be opened “by sometime Saturday.”
Polis toured Glenwood Canyon on Wednesday morning.
“CDOT and State Emergency Operations have made tremendous progress in cleaning up and removing tons of mud and debris that have completely blocked off access to this roadway,” Polis said. “As the state recovers from this incident and reopens this corridor Saturday afternoon, we will continue to need strong federal partners in the Biden administration and our federal delegation.”
“There is extensive work to be accomplished over the next four days that includes completing material removal at westbound Milepost 123.5, and the state commends Xcel for speeding up the extensive work they need to accomplish to hit this timeline,” Polis said.
On Tuesday, crews hauled 45 loads out from the area around westbound mile marker 123.5 to make room for “super sacks” to be built up as a barrier for future mudslides. Crews also worked to clear and open a drain at that location. Up to 300 super sacks are scheduled on Wednesday to be put in place by a crane. Crews were able reroute the Blue Creek flow via pipe under the super sack pad and direct it toward a downstream drop drain.
Work on the eastbound side of I-70 was focused mainly between Hanging Lake Tunnel and Bair Ranch, as CDOT said there is still a lot of debris in the area.
Polis issued two disaster declarations for the area after several mudslides caused extensive damage to the road and the viaduct structure. The declarations allow use of the Colorado National Guard and seek federal funding.