I-70 reopens through Glenwood Canyon | SummitDaily.com

I-70 reopens through Glenwood Canyon

Damage to the guardrail is seen after boulders fell from the cliffs in Glenwood Canyon after the Grizzly Creek Fire swept through the canyon.
Photo by Chelsea Self / Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — After a two-week closure, Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon reopened at 6:30 a.m. Monday, officials announced.

Colorado Department of Transportation crews and inspectors have been assessing the road damage and rockfall concerns over the past week, and CDOT sent an update at 6:32 a.m. on CoTrip.org to announce the major thoroughfare had reopened.

“EB/W I-70 open in Glenwood Canyon following firefighting activity,” the update stated.

The interstate closed Aug. 10 when the now more than 30,000-acre wildfire started near the Grizzly Creek rest area.

In a news release sent at 7 a.m., CDOT called the reopening “limited.”

“CDOT asks that motorists prepare for reduced speeds, no stopping in the canyon and closures due to mudslides and other events. CDOT also urges travelers to stay focused on the road and avoid distracted driving,” the release stated.

Rest areas in the canyon will be closed and motorists will not be able to use exit ramps, CDOT said.

CDOT officials remain concerned about future weather events. Even a quarter-inch of rain could cause issues, officials have said.
“If there’s rain, we might have a safety closure,” CDOT Region 3 communications manager Elise Thatcher said Sunday in a phone interview. “So, keeping an eye on the forecast is the thing to do for travelers. … We’re very excited for a reopening, but also keep in mind that we’re going to have safety closures in the short-term future due to weather.”
The two-week I-70 shutdown is thought to be the longest in the canyon’s history.
CDOT northwest regional director Mike Goolsby said Saturday that Xcel Energy continues to repair power lines in and above the canyon and that the upper tier of the interstate will be used to help move firefighters to either side of the fire.
“(The upper tier) also gives us to the opportunity to move fire crews quickly through the canyon not impacting traffic,” he said.

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