Colo. Highway 133 over McClure Pass has reopened to single-lane, alternating traffic, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, but daytime motorists can expect long delays.
The road had been closed since a rockslide occurred just north of Paonia Reservoir on Sunday morning. Today, crews will continue work on drilling the large rocks on the roadway in preparation for blasting either this afternoon, and likely all day Thursday, according to a CDOT statement. Rocks will be broken up into pieces that can be hauled away in 100-plus dump truck loads.
With good progress and good weather, it is possible but not certain that the road could be fully open on Friday.
Work to clear the slide is occurring from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. During these hours (today, Thursday and possibly Friday), motorists will encounter single-lane, alternating traffic and delays of up to two-hours, according to CDOT. Delays are due to a large drill rig, which is set up in the free lane and requires time to move on and off the site, and because of the blasting operations and subsequent loading and hauling away.
From 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., motorists will simply encounter a continuous flow of single-lane, alternating traffic with minimal delays.
The closure barricades are at mile post 28 on the south side and MP 29.5 on the north. Motorists from the south attempting to get from Paonia to Carbondale, Glenwood or Aspen will need to detour onto Colo. Highway 92, Colo. Highway 65, I-70 and Colo. Highway 82 — a detour of about 140 miles. Motorists from the north will use this detour in reverse). CDOT will post updates on this closure at www.cotrip.org (see “Travel Alerts”).
CDOT’s separate project is still under way north of the McClure Pass summit, between MP 44 and 49 (near Marble). At this site, during periods of daily rock scaling work, traffic will be stopped in both directions for up to 20 minutes. Delays may exceed 20 minutes as traffic queues are cleared in both directions.
When scaling is not underway, travelers should still anticipate some delays and single-lane, alternating traffic, Monday through Friday (and some Saturdays) during daylight hours.