Glenwood Canyon set to reopen Saturday afternoon with one lane in each direction
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday, Aug. 11, that state highway officials are confident they can have Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon open to limited traffic by the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 14.
The canyon has been closed since the night of July 29 when the first of several mud and rock slides triggered by torrential rains over the Grizzly Creek Fire burn scar covered the interstate in several locations.
Colorado Department of Transportation crews have been working since then to clear as much as 10 to 15 feet of mud and debris from parts of the roadway and assess the damage beneath.
Polis toured the canyon Wednesday with CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew and other CDOT and U.S. Forest Service officials, accompanied by news media from across the state.
“We are pushing to get this open as quickly as we can, but of course, it has to be safe before we can do that,” Polis said. “At this point, we are confident it will be open Saturday afternoon with one lane each way.”
The most significant damage is in the vicinity of mile point 123.5 at what’s known as Blue Gulch, where a massive slide covered the roadway and caused significant damage to highway infrastructure.
The eastbound lanes include a 15-foot deep hole caused by the flood, and the barrier wall on the elevated westbound lanes is severely damaged.
However, much of canyon should be open to two lanes in both directions once the remainder of the debris is removed and initial repairs made to the road surface, Polis said.
“There’s really only about a quarter-mile patch where it would go down to one lane,” he said.
Polis did note that the reopening schedule is weather dependent, and things could change with rain in the forecast later in the week.
There will also likely be additional short-term closures of 20 to 30 minutes at a time to allow for road work and additional debris removal to be completed, he said.
This story is from PostIndependent.com.
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