I-70 in Glenwood Canyon could reopen in ‘coming days, not weeks,’ CDOT officials say | CraigDailyPress.com

I-70 in Glenwood Canyon could reopen in ‘coming days, not weeks,’ CDOT officials say

Post Independent Staff Report
Rock falls continue to pummel Glenwood Canyon as the fire moves away Sunday near Glenwood Springs. With the vegetation burned away, nothing is there to anchor the rocks to the mountainside.
Christopher Dillman / Vail Daily

The section of Interstate 70 through the Glenwood Canyon should be open in the coming days, the head of the Colorado Department of Transportation said Thursday.

“We’re looking at days, not weeks, for the end of the closure,” Shoshana Lew, CDOT’s executive director, said on a teleconference with reporters. “The end is in sight.”

She said conditions can change rapidly and safety remains the most important part to reopening the road. They have seen rockfall “daily, if not hourly,” said Michael Goolsby, CDOT’s northwest regional transportation director said.

Officials can’t give an exact date yet because there is a weather system moving through the area in the next 24 to 48 hours that will have “quiet a significant bearing” on the decision, Lew said.

CDOT should have it open “within the week, and hopefully less not more,” Lew added.

The decision will come with input from emergency management teams with local fire and law enforcement, CDOT officials said. Crews continue to inspect the road surface and bridges, and are doing rockfall mitigation, as well.

The 24-mile section of interstate, from Glenwood Springs to Gypsum, has been closed since the Grizzly Creek Fire started Aug. 10 on the median near the Grizzly Creek rest area.

Since then, cross-state traffic has been detoured through the southern part of Colorado. As well, the high volume of traffic trying to shortcut over Independence Pass became such an issue last week that that section of Highway 82 was closed for two days before reopening Aug. 14.

CDOT crews have been on the pass and been available to meter traffic should the volume increase. And they also are stopping any vehicle over 35 feet that is trying to go that route.

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