I-70 reopens in both directions through Glenwood Canyon following mudslide | SummitDaily.com

I-70 reopens in both directions through Glenwood Canyon following mudslide

Ray K. Erku
Post Independent
A muddy Colorado River and an empty Interstate 70 can be seen from Scout Trail, but no signs of the mudslide forcing the closure of the interstate. The mudslide is within the Grizzly Creek Fire burn scar.
Photo by Peter Baumann / Post Independent

10:22 p.m.: All lanes on Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon have reopened, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

9:55 p.m.: Eastbound lanes on Interstate 70 have reopened, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Westbound lanes remain closed at mile marker 133 near Dotsero. There is no estimated time for westbound lanes to reopen, but CDOT crews remain on scene working to clear the roadway.

The slide never reached eastbound lanes. The debris consists of a “soupy, dirt and mud” mixture with some small rocks, according to CDOT.

Story: GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A mudslide in the Glenwood Canyon area Saturday, June 26, has prompted the Colorado Department of Transportation to close portions of Interstate 70 through Garfield County in both directions.

Garfield County Emergency Manager Walt Stowe said no injuries or any trapped motorists have been reported so far.

“It’s in the Grizzly Creek area, and it’s covering the two (westbound) lanes,” he said. “And they’re worried about the mud going into the east lane. So they’ve closed the entire canyon down.”

There is no estimate yet on when I-70 might reopen to traffic.

“Nobody’s stating a time yet until they get the equipment in there and start clearing that mud,” Stowe said. “It’s 7-feet deep in the one lane, so that’s quite a bit of mud.”

CDOT spokesperson Tracy Trulove said since the National Weather Service is still forecasting showers and thunderstorms this afternoon, equipment has yet to begin the process of debris removal.

“We’re still working on that, because it’s still a fluid situation occurring, so we don’t want to put anybody in harm’s way,” she said. “We really are working on scene safety first.”

The forecast calls for a 30% chance of rain Saturday evening, mostly cloudy and with a high near 75 degrees. In addition, northeast winds of 5 miles per hour and gusts as high as 20 miles per hour are expected.

Sunday’s forecast calls for a 20% chance of precipitation between 1-4 p.m.

Crews are currently clearing the canyon queues of cars that were caught on either side of the mudslide, Trulove said.

“If any of the traffic that made it all the way up to the stop point of where this debris flow is, the team in the canyon would get them turned around to get back out,“ she explained.

The mudslide, caused by heavy rain falling on the Grizzly Creek Fire burn scar, came after a flash flood warning was issued at 2:30 p.m.

It has led to the closure of Interstate 70 between exits in Dotsero and Glenwood Springs. Eastbound lanes are also closed between Canyon Creek and Rifle.

All rest areas and the recreation path in Glenwood Canyon were originally closed down Thursday, June 24, in response to a hazardous weather outlook. CDOT reopened the rest areas and recreation path to visitors around 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Those areas, however, are once again closed down.


In a news release, the city of Glenwood Springs reported that “water crews are evaluating water treatment with current heavy rains.”

Residents are asked to temporarily suspend outdoor water use, the release states.

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