Most I-70 lanes reopen to traffic after rockslide in Glenwood Canyon, Colorado

No vehicles were hit by the rockfall, but the slide did cause some damage to a concrete barrier

May 22, 2019
Colorado rockslide I-70 Glenwood Canyon

A large rockslide fell onto I-70 in Glenwood Canyon of the Glenwood Springs area in Colorado, closing down both directions of traffic along the interstate for several hours Tuesday morning.


The slide first occurred around 7 a.m. Tuesday near mile marker 122, according to local reports. The Colorado DOT (CDOT) announced yesterday afternoon that eastbound lanes had been reopened along the corridor as of 10:45 a.m. Later on, crews opened one westbound lane to traffic while crews continue to clear rocks and debris from the lanes.


According to ABC 7 Denver, wet weather in the area led to several loose larger rocks falling onto the roadway below. No vehicles were hit by the rockfall, but the slide did cause some damage to a concrete barrier. Reports indicate that CDOT will rely on explosives to blast the larger pieces of rock in order to more easily remove them from the roadway.


CDOT later said that motorists traveling through Glenwood Canyon could run into delays during today's commute as crews continue rockfall mitigation efforts and repairs to any damaged roadway.


Glenwood Canyon is an area that commonly sees rockfall activity, as I-70 was impacted with around 250 to 300 tons of rock back in February 2019, according to CDOT Communications Manager Tracy Trulove. "[Glenwood Canyon] is about an 18-mile stretch of highway that just has beautiful cliffs on either side," Trulove told Roads & Bridges in a March 2019 interview. "And it’s not the only place in the state where we see that. But the challenge is there’s just a huge amount of our highways that run along rockfall areas."


CDOT officials have said that rockslides can be common in areas like Glenwood Canyon due to temperature fluctuations and precipitation events. 



Source: Colorado DOT / ABC 7 Denver / The Denver Post

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