Crews to close parts of I-70 for rockfall mitigation |

Crews to close parts of I-70 for rockfall mitigation

Craig Press staff report

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, the Colorado Department of Transportation will close both directions of a section of Interstate 70 to perform rockfall mitigation, according to a news release from CDOT.

The closure will impact the interstate near Exit 49, also known as the Colorado Highway 65 Interchange.

Vehicle closure points will be eastbound at Exit 47 (Island Acres State Park) and westbound at Exit 62 (De Beque).

“We encourage motorists to stop in places along the I-70 corridor to wait out the closure in order to be near services,” CDOT Project Engineer Paul Granahan said in the release. “There is not a lot of storage for commercial vehicles in De Beque, so anyone traveling westbound may want to stop before the closure point. Motorists traveling eastbound have more options, with Grand Junction being the larger city they arrive at before heading into De Beque Canyon.”

In preparation for this operation, intermittent traffic stops will occur on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday to mobilize equipment and prepare the area.

As part of the mitigation, crews will be rock scaling, drilling, and blasting to remove several sections of rock in an effort to protect the safety of motorists and prevent road damage or unexpected closures that could be caused by a natural rockfall incident.

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United Companies is the prime contractor for this $4.3 million project.

Travel impacts will be as follows.

  • Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 20 and 21: The eastbound and westbound right lanes will be closed. Motorists traveling I-70 should expect 20-minute traffic holds with delays. The project will be in operation from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 22: Eastbound and westbound full closure of I-70. The closure will begin at 11 a.m. and continue until 1 p.m.
  • Thursday and Friday, Aug. 23 and 24: East and westbound right lanes will be closed. Motorists are advised to expect 20-minute traffic holds with delays.

For more information about the project and associated closures, call the project hotline at 970-456-1481, or email