UPDATE: I-70 westbound reopens in Glenwood Canyon after extended closure Monday, eastbound expected to reopen before midnight
UPDATE, 10:22 p.m. Monday — I-70 westbound in Glenwood Canyon has been reopened at milemarker 133 (Dotsero). Eastbound lanes expected to reopen within one hour, according to the latest Garfield County Communications alert sent at 10:22 p.m.
Original story from 11:30 a.m. Monday:
Yet another incident involving a semi tractor-trailer losing it on the snow-slick roads in Glenwood Canyon has both the westbound and eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 closed east of Glenwood Springs on Monday.
The crash occurred at about 11:15 a.m. on westbound I-70 just west of the Hanging Lake Tunnels involving a single tractor-trailer, but triggered a series of minor accidents as traffic tried to slow to avoid the wrecked truck, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) said in a Monday afternoon news release.
“The extended closure is expected to last at least through tonight,” the release states.
No injuries were reported in the crash.
It’s the third crash in the canyon involving a semi in four days that has resulted in a highway closure, following similar incidents on Friday and Saturday — the latest in a continuing string of Canyon closures resulting from crashes.
The Monday closure point on the west side of Glenwood Canyon is the West Glenwood Springs interchange, Exit 114, and on the east side is at mile marker 133 (Dotsero), according to Colorado Department of Transportation’s cotrip.org road conditions reports. Local traffic is being allowed to pass between Rifle and No Name.
According to witness and responder reports, the westbound truck was hanging over the barrier into the eastbound lanes and the trailer was blocking westbound traffic.
The crash occurred in the elevated westbound lanes at mile point 124.6, just west of the Hanging Lake Tunnels, and will require extensive removal operations, CDOT said in its release.
“The trailer is currently blocking westbound traffic, and the tractor traveled over the guardrail down onto eastbound lanes,” the release states. “Secondary crashes also took place nearby as vehicles tried to avoid the crashed CMV (commercial vehicle).
“Crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to clear the CMV, secondary crashes and motorists waiting in the queue behind the crash.”
Initial reports from responding emergency personnel indicate there was a minor fuel spill and that a hazmat response would be necessary.
Alternate routes to the north via state Highways 13, 131 and 9 and U.S. 40, or to the south via U.S. Routes 285 and 50 and various other state and U.S. highways are available, but CDOT suggests checking weather and travel conditions before using any alternate routes.
The alternate routes will add several hours of travel time, CDOT advises. All road condition updates will continue to post to COtrip.org.
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