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Glenwood Springs chip and seal work continues the week of July 22

Beginning July 22 and through July 26, the city of Glenwood Springs will perform chip and seal work on residential streets near the downtown core.

Work will begin on Monday and last through the week on the following streets:

• Blake Avenue from Seventh to 13th streets

• Bennett Avenue from Seventh to 13th streets

• Bennett Avenue from 21st to 23rd street

• Palmer Avenue from Seventh to 12th streets

• Pitkin Avenue from Eighth to 14th streets

The affected streets will remain open during the week, however parking will be impacted.

Additionally, 27th Street east of the 27th Street Bridge to Highway 82 will be milled and overlaid from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 25.

27th Street will remain open for this work, which is slated to occur prior to the bridge closure at 7 p.m. Thursday for the 27th Street bridge construction project.

For more information on street projects visit www.cogs.us/streetmaintenance.

Highway 133 reopened after mudslide south of Carbondale near Penny Hot Springs

Updated at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday

The Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District reports that Highway 133 is now open in both directions after cleanup efforts by CDOT went faster than expected.

Both lanes on State Highway 133 were closed at mile marker 53 near Penny Hot Springs earlier Tuesday afternoon due to a rock and mudslide that covered the road.

According to a press release from the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, crews were dispatched to mile marker 53 around 2 p.m. Tuesday due to a report of debris flow onto the highway.

Upon arrival, crews found both lanes of Highway 133 covered in rocks, mud and other material. The road was deemed impassable as crews shut down both lanes. There were no injuries.

The Pitkin County Sheriff and Colorado Department of Transportation restricted access to anyone who does not live in the area. CDOT is currently on scene with heavy equipment to clear the highway.

This is a developing story. The Post Independent will update as more information becomes available.

Multiple cars involved in crash Wednesday evening on EB 82

Five vehicles were involved in a crash at mile-marker 5 eastbound on Highway 82 Wednesday evening around 5:30 p.m.

The highway was never officially closed, according to Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis, but the multi-car crash did cause some delays for motorists heading towards Carbondale.

The crash occurred within a current construction zone where traffic control and reduced speeds are in effect.

One passenger was transported to Valley View Hospital with mild-to-moderate injuries, Lewis said, but no injuries were considered serious.

The cause of the crash was still under investigation Wednesday night.


I-70 eastbound reopened after wreck east of Glenwood Canyon

Update 1:55 p.m.: All lanes are now open.

The Colorado State Patrol closed Interstate 70 eastbound for a brief time early Friday afternoon at mile marker 125 (Hanging Lake) Friday for an accident on the Eagle County side of Glenwood Canyon.

Westbound I-70 through Glenwood Canyon remained open.

One dies in head-on collision Friday afternoon on I-70

A 71-year-old Grand Junction woman died Friday afternoon following a head-on collision that closed I-70 westbound at exit 97 near Silt for nearly four hours. The Garfield County Coroner’s Office investigators arrived at approximately 1:10 p.m. and pronounced the woman dead at the scene. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday, according to a press release from the coroner’s office. The woman’s name is being withheld pending the notification of family who live abroad.

The woman’s husband was the driver of the vehicle, which was traveling eastbound and crossed the median at mile marker 97 into the westbound lanes. At least two other vehicles traveling westbound struck the couple’s vehicle head-on. The woman’s husband was transported to the hospital and does not have life threatening injuries. One additional person from another vehicle was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the press release.

The Silt Police Department is the lead law enforcement agency investigating the cause of the crash. According to the press release, other responding agencies included Colorado River Fire Rescue, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, and Colorado Department of Transportation.

No further information is available at this time. The Post Independent will update this story as more information becomes available.


1-70 reopened after Wednesday wreck in Glenwood Canyon

Eastbound Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon was reopened a little after 5 p.m. Wednesday following a single-vehicle accident involving a horse trailer.

First responders received multiple 911 calls around 2 p.m. of an accident on eastbound I-70 at mile marker 127, about 9 miles east of Glenwood Springs.

Colorado State Patrol reported the crash involved a late-model Honda pickup towing a horse trailer, and driven 31-year-old female.

CSP Trooper Jacob Best said the driver failed to negotiate a corner causing the vehicle to skid and the single-horse trailer to overturn.

“We implemented a safety closure because it was on a blind curve, and blocking multiple lanes,” Best said. Eastbound I-70 was closed at the main Glenwood Springs exit for about three hours.

The driver, from Grand Junction, was uninjured in the crash. However, the horse was injured.

The horse was stabilized by emergency responders in the trailer, and a vet was requested out of the Glenwood Springs area, Best said.

Glenwood Veterinary Clinic responded to the scene, calming and medicating the horse, while Gypsum Fire and other units on scene extricated the horse from the trailer.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife also responded to the accident with a trailer, and transported the horse from the scene back to the vet office in Glenwood for further treatment.

Other agencies involved included Colorado Department of Transportation and Garfield County Sheriffs Office.

Sunday crash on Highway 82 seriously injures woman, 87

A two-vehicle crash on Highway 82 near the CMC turnoff Sunday afternoon sent five people to the hospital and diverted traffic onto the nearby frontage road for about an hour and a half.

The wreck occurred about 2:20 p.m. on westbound 82 at mile marker 7, about a quarter mile south of the main Highway 82/Garfield County roads 114/154 intersection.

Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District crews responded to find two vehicles involved in a T-bone accident in the westbound lanes, with a party trapped in a vehicle.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, Joanne Clements, 87, of New Castle was entering Highway 82 from the frontage road and failed to yield, when her 2013 Subaru was struck by a westbound 2016 Dodge pickup driven by Jose Salais, 18, of Carbondale.

“(Clements) had to be extricated from the vehicle,” according to a fire district press release. Five patients, including three passengers in Salais’ vehicle, all males, two ages 18 and one 20, were transported to Valley View Hospital.

Clements suffered serious injuries and was reportedly later taken to a Grand Junction hospital. A report on her condition was not available Monday, State Patrol Trooper and PIO Josh Lewis said.

The others involved in the accident all sustained minor injuries, he said.

Traffic was diverted onto the frontage road, and the westbound lanes reopened Sunday about 4 p.m.

“This is a major accident on a main thoroughfare,” said Carbondale Fire Chief Rob Goodwin. “We are fortunate that there were only two vehicles involved. There is a lot of traffic on the roads this weekend and we want to encourage everyone to drive carefully.”

Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District responded to the wreck with 12 personnel, three ambulances and two fire engines. Glenwood Springs Fire Department also responded with an ambulance and two personnel.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Department and the Colorado State Patrol also responded.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated and revised from the original version to include the names of the drivers of the two vehicles, and to correct the number of people involved.

Massive rockslide closes southwest Colorado highway

CORTEZ, Colo. (AP) — A pair of massive boulders rolled off a Colorado mountainside and smashed into state Highway 145, destroying the pavement and leaving a house-sized rock across the roadway that will have to be blasted apart, state transportation officials said Saturday.

The highway was to remain closed at least through the weekend and possibly longer, as crews removed unstable and loose rock to prevent another fall, said Colorado Transportation Department spokeswoman Lisa Schwantes.

photo posted by the City of Ouray showed a person posing in front of one of the boulders, which appeared as big as a two-story house. The other large boulder carved an 8-foot trench as it went over the roadway.

It’s relatively common for boulders and smaller rocks to fall on mountain highways, particularly in spring after the repeated melting and freezing of snow and ice creates new fissures on mountainsides.

But Friday’s afternoon rock slide along state Highway 145 between Cortez and Telluride was unusual in that it began about 1,000 feet above the highway , in a cliff band at the top of a slope leading down to the highway.

Once the slope above is deemed safe, crews will seek to build a shoulder along the damaged roadway so at least a single lane of traffic can be opened, Schwantes said.

Traffic delays expected in Glenwood Canyon after major rock slide

Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon may be closed intermittently Wednesday through the weekend, as highway crews break down and remove boulders and patch potholes caused by a major rock slide Tuesday morning.

The 7 a.m. rock slide occurred near milepost 122, about five miles west of Glenwood Springs. For several hours, the interstate was closed in both directions.

Crews were able to reopen both eastbound lanes around 10:45 a.m. and one westbound lane an hour later, after removing the debris that could be scraped away with front loaders. It could take some time before all lanes are open.

“We’ll be able to allow traffic through once we get the blasting done and the potholes filled,” said Lisa Schwantes of the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Some of the boulders that fell were the size of SUVs, Schwantes said, and about 10 still had to be drilled and blasted into smaller pieces to be removed late Tuesday afternoon. That work will continue Wednesday morning.

“Even if you’re going eastbound toward Denver, you can expect periodic delays as well. We stop traffic when that blasting is taking place,” Schwantes said.

Traffic also has to stop when crews do scaling operations to remove loose or semi-loose debris from the hillside.

CDOT expects to do some scaling along the canyon wall where the rock slide occurred, but it’s unclear where or how extensive that operation will be. The crews want clear weather to properly inspect the hillside, using either a crane or a helicopter.

“We need a break in the weather, and we’re not expecting a break until Thursday. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for Friday to get going on additional inspection and potential scaling,” Schwantes said.

“We want to err on the side of safety, so it’s likely that in the coming days we will be doing some rock scaling adjacent to this location,” said Ty Ortiz, a geohazards expert with CDOT.

With freezing at night, and moisture during the day, the risk of rock fall increases.

“We do believe there are some areas there that are susceptible to similar failure,” Ortiz said.

Officials did not pinpoint any other locations they are concerned with in the canyon.

“It’s really difficult to pinpoint any particular spot of the canyon. We keep an eye on the cliff walls as best we can. We’re at the mercy of mother nature during this freeze-thaw cycle,” Schwantes said.

During the Tuesday closure, CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol were recommending westbound drivers head north through Steamboat Springs on state Highway 131, west through Craig on U.S. Highway 40 and south to Rifle on state Highway 13.

During such closures, Cottonwood Pass between Gypsum and the Cattle Creek area south of Glenwood Springs is not a recommended alternate route, especially during inclement weather.

A major spring snowstorm that continued into the night Tuesday also resulted in a lengthy safety closure Tuesday morning on Interstate 70 eastbound at Vail Pass.

For the latest road conditions along I-70 and other Colorado highways, visit CDOT’s cotrip.org.


Update: EB lanes, one WB now open after rock slide closed I-70 in Glenwood Canyon

UPDATE (5 p.m.) — I-70 will continue to be closed intermittently into Wednesday as crews continue to break the larger boulders and repair potholes caused by the rockfall.

Road workers made progress on breaking and removing debris Tuesday afternoon, but that work will continue into Wednesday, CDOT spokesperson Lisa Schwantes said.

During blasting, both directions of the interstate will be closed.

CDOT will determine whether to conduct scaling operations, but need good weather to properly inspect the hillside. According to weather forecasts, Thursday might be the first chance crews will have to analyze the hillside, using either a crane or helicopter.

“We need a break in the weather, and we’re not expecting a break until Thursday. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for Friday to get going on additional inspection and potential scaling,” Schwantes said.

Both directions of the interstate will be closed during scaling operations.

The damage to the guardrail also has not been completely assessed, Schwantes said.

UPDATE (2 p.m.) — One westbound lane of I-70 in Glenwood Canyon has now been opened, following the morning rock slide.

UPDATE (11:57 a.m.) — Road crews expected open one westbound lane of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon at some point Tuesday afternoon, CDOT said in a call with reporters.

Eastbound lanes are open, but both directions of I-70 will be closed intermittently through the canyon Tuesday afternoon while crews drill into the boulders, set explosive charges and clear the debris.

“All lanes will need to be closed when they downsize these rocks,” said Ty Ortiz, a geohazards specialist for CDOT. Crews may also work on scaling the hillside later Tuesday afternoon, which would also require a road closure.

“We will try to keep one lane westbound open, but there will be these periodic and intermittent closures when we are doing that work,” CDOT spokeswoman Lisa Schwantes said.

The rockfall brought down several large rocks the size of SUVs, Schwantes said, and those boulders are still blocking part of the interstate.

The guardrail damaged by rockfall Tuesday morning on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon (CDOT/provided)

For westbound drivers, CDOT and Colorado State Patrol recommend going north through Steamboat Springs on state Highway 131, west through Craig on U.S. Highway 40, and south to Rifle on state Highway 13.

Cottonwood Pass is not a recommended alternate route due to slick, muddy conditions.

UPDATE (10:55 a.m.) — Eastbound lanes of I-70 are currently open through Glenwood Canyon after the rockfall early Tuesday morning.

Westbound lanes are still closed at exit 133 Dotsero as crews assess the hillside and clear the fallen rock. There is no estimated time for reopening the westbound lanes.

UPDATE (9:44 a.m.) — Eastbound I-70 through Glenwood Canyon expected to reopen mid morning after a rockfall earlier Tuesday morning. Currently, eastbound traffic is stopped at Exit 116 (main Glenwood/Highway 82 exit).

Westbound traffic is stopped at mile marker 133, and there is no estimated time of opening.

Crews with heavy equipment are on the scene clearing rock and boulders, CDOT said in a press release. No cars were involved in the rockfall, and no injuries have been reported, CDOT said.

UPDATE (8:35 a.m.) — A front-end loader was reportedly on scene to clear the eastbound lanes in Glenwood Canyon, and a drone pilot was en route to fly over the slide area and assess the situation. Meanwhile, CDOT was preparing to open Vail Pass eastbound following an earlier crash and safety closure this morning.

UPDATE (7:45 a.m.) — A rock slide has now closed Interstate 70 in both directions through Glenwood Canyon. Safety officials are preparing to close the interstate at Exit 116 eastbound and at Dotsero westbound, according to reports.

A safety closure was also in effect as of 7 a.m. Tuesday for Interstate 70 eastbound at Vail Pass, amid a May snowstorm that is creating hazardous road conditions in the high country.

There is no estimated time of reopening. Expect delays and avoid the area if possible.

The closure area is between mile markers 176 and 180, according to Colorado Department of Transportation’s CoTrip.org, where the latest road conditions for I-70 and other Colorado highways can be found.

Reports on the local Roaring Fork Road and Weather Facebook page also indicate a traffic backup on eastbound I-70 in South Canyon west of Glenwood Springs, also about 7 a.m. this morning, due to a crash.

According to CDOT, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the mountains of Summit and Eagle counties through midnight tonight. Eight to 18 inches of snow is forecast, and motorists are advised that chain and traction laws are in effect, and safety closures should be anticipated.

This is a developing story and will be updated as new information is available.