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Motorcycle crash victim identified as 61 y.o. Avon man

The man killed in a motorcycle crash on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon Friday evening has been identified as Daniel Schaub, 61, of Avon, according to the Garfield County Coroner’s Office.

The wreck happened a little after 5 p.m. Friday in the westbound lanes at mile marker 122 near the Hanging Lake Tunnels, about eight miles east of Glenwood Springs.

The wreck did not involve any other vehicles, but the westbound lanes were closed for more than two hours while the crash was being investigated.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Gary Cutler said Schaub was ejected from his bike into the median. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, according to the coroner’s release. An autopsy is scheduled for early next week.

Eastbound I-70 was closed for a short time immediately after the crash. Westbound I-70 was closed from about 5:30 until 7:45 p.m. when traffic backed up for several miles east of the tunnel was allowed to proceed. Traffic was also being diverted off I-70 at Dotsero.

jstroud@postindependent.com

Man killed in motorcycle crash on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon Friday evening

A 61-year-old man was killed in a motorcycle wreck on westbound Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon east of Glenwood Springs a little after 5 p.m. Friday.

The wreck did not involve any other vehicles, but did close the westbound lanes for more than two hours to start the busy Easter holiday weekend.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Gary Cutler said the accident happened about 5:12 p.m. in the westbound lanes of I-70 west of the Hanging Lake Tunnels at milemarker 122.

The rider, who was not identified pending notification of family, was ejected and thrown into the eastbound lanes, Cutler said.

Westbound I-70 was closed until about 7:45 p.m., when traffic stuck in the tunnel and stretching several miles east was allowed to proceed. Traffic was also being diverted off I-70 at Dotsero.

Highway 13 wreck sends one to hospital

UPDATE: Raptor the dog has since been found alive and well, has been reunited with his family, according to the Rifle Police Department.

Northbound Colorado Highway 13 in Rifle near West 30th Street in Rifle was closed to traffic late Tuesday morning as Colorado State Patrol and Rifle Police Department crews worked clean-up from an injury crash.

Rifle Police Chief Tommy Klein said the crash involved a tractor trailer and a Jeep just north of the 30th Street intersection. He said the driver of the Jeep was sent to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction with nonlife-threatening injuries.

Klein also said there was a boxer dog in the Jeep named Raptor at the time of the crash that police were looking for, and later found.

Police are still investigating the accident. Klein said the Jeep needed to be pulled out of the ditch off the highway. Northbound traffic began flowing again by 11:30 a.m.

According to Klein, the Jeep slid across the roadway into the ditch approximately 200 feet off the road.

Southbound traffic was not impacted.

I-70 speed limit reduced at Grand Junction

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado Department of Transportation has reduced the speed limit on Interstate 70 through Grand Junction to 70 mph (112.6 kph).

The Daily Sentinel reports that the more than seven-mile (11.3-kilometer) stretch of interstate that’s been slowed down from the previous 75 mph (120.7 kph) limit spans three major Grand Junction exits along the highway.

The new speed limit reduction is the culmination of a city effort that dates to the fall of 2017, when there were multiple fatal accidents on the stretch.

Grand Junction public works director Trent Prall says that stretch of highway in is an area that’s becoming more urban resulting in more traffic.

In addition to the reduced speed limit, CDOT has installed new center cable rail and made guardrail enhancements in certain areas.

Avon-to-Vail stretch of I-70 to see night work starting April 14

EAGLE COUNTY — The Colorado Department of Transportation, in cooperation with United Companies, begins a roadway resurfacing project on I-70 between Avon and West Vail (mile point 167-16 j73.5). Night construction is scheduled to begin the evening of Sunday, April 14 and continue through October.

This is a maintenance resurfacing project that will improve the existing surface of the roadway and will include improved surface friction, which can lead to reduced crashes. Additionally, the project will replace all the existing guardrail in the project limits and bring them up to current standards of crash ratings.
 
The eastbound acceleration lane at Dowd Junction near mile point 171 will be lengthened to provide additional sight distance and merging distance for vehicles using the on-ramp. Minor maintenance repairs will also be conducted on the bridge structures in these project limits in association with the resurfacing work. Drainage improvements will also be completed in Dowd Junction to reduce ponding of water on the roadway during storm events.

Travel impacts 

  • General working hours will be from 6 p.m.to 6 a.m., Sunday through Thursday.
  • No work will be performed Friday and Saturday nights, with the exception of emergency situations.
  • Motorists can expect a single lane closure, both eastbound and westbound, during work hours, with speeds reduced to 40 mph for safety.
  • Temporary slowdowns may be encountered during milling and paving operations to let trucks in and out of the work zone. At the end of each shift, the road will be re-opened to two lanes in each direction. All lane closures and warnings will be posted in advance.

 For more information about the project, call the project information line, 970-661-3883, email the team at I70AvontoVail@yahoo.com, or visit the project website and sign up for updates. 

Two car accidents involving drunk drivers snarled Aspen’s Tuesday traffic

Two day drinkers snarled Aspen’s evening traffic Tuesday after causing car accidents, police said Wednesday.

The first accident occurred at 5:25 p.m., when Katharine Guimond, 34, of Aspen hit another vehicle on the Castle Creek Bridge, said Aspen police Sgt. Rob Fabrocini. Details of the incident were not available Wednesday, though Guimond was charged with DUI, careless driving and following too closely.

The second crash happened at 6:48 p.m., when Jarrett Workman, 30, of Eagle County crashed his Toyota truck into a light pole at Fourth and Main streets, Fabrocini said. Workman smelled of alcohol, slurred his speech and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both, Fabrocini said.

Workman failed roadside sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI, possession of a controlled substance, careless driving and driving with no proof of insurance. The substance was an unspecified prescription drug, and Workman admitted he was taking pain killers for a work-related injury, Fabrocini said.

Woman dies after rollover crash on I-70

A woman passed away following a rollover crash on I-70 Wednesday night, according to representatives with the Colorado State Patrol.

Colin Remillard, a spokesman with Colorado State Patrol, said that a woman was killed during a rollover crash on Interstate 70 heading westbound around mile marker 196, near Copper Mountain. Remillard said that CSP currently believes it was a single vehicle crash involving two passengers.

The woman was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced deceased.

This story is developing and will be updated once more details become available.

Your Watershed column: How 2019 snowpack relates to river recreation

While there’s still plenty of snow for spring skiing enjoyment, there plenty of folks pulling out the river gear in anticipation of a stellar season for river boating.

As of the beginning of April, snowpack in the Upper Colorado River basin sits at 130 perfect of normal. Snowpack conditions are well above where they were a year ago when we were wondering if western Colorado rivers would be boatable at all. Accumulating abundant snowpack over the course of the winter is important because it represents a temporary savings account that will be drawn upon for the remainder of the spring, summer and fall. his savings account provides our everyday drinking water, irrigation water for agricultural, in-channel flows that support fish and other wildlife, and the water we enjoy for river recreating.

Mother Nature, however, is largely in control of how quickly the water savings account is drawn down. As snow melts in the high country, the runoff makes its way down the rivers and streams of the Western Slope, with peak flow typically occurring during the months of May and June in the Colorado River. The timing of peaking flows and the volume of water that finds its way to rivers and streams is influenced by a number of factors. Conventional wisdom is that warm air temperatures and sunny days have a strong influence on the rate of snowmelt. Newer evidence is showing that human-induced factors are starting to shift historic patterns.

Researchers from Colorado State University have found that the timing and volume of runoff in the Colorado River is shifting due to higher temperatures now common in the basin, a result of human caused climate change. The phenomena of dust on snow, or the accumulation of blowing dust that settles on the surface of the snowpack, can also play a role by melting snow earlier.

Because of ongoing drought conditions and the notable lack of precipitation in 2018, soil moisture content in the Upper Colorado going in to the winter months ranged from 70 percent below average to less than 30 percent below average. Melting snow will need to replenish soil moisture before runoff occurs. In addition, many of the state’s reservoirs were depleted after the low water year of 2018. The net effect of these influences could mean a reduced peak streamflow and an overall reduced volume of water.

Nonetheless, there is plenty of reason to enjoy the bounty of this year’s anticipated runoff. Communities along the middle Colorado River recognize the value of recreational access to the river for the benefits of its residents. From planned improvements at Two River Park in Glenwood Springs to new boat ramps in Rifle, Parachute and De Beque, public opportunities to recreate on the Colorado River are increasing. River paddlers will find challenging and exciting whitewater from Glenwood Canyon to New Castle. Slower waters from Silt to De Beque are more conducive for angling or float-boating. Riverside municipal parks nestled among the cottonwood forests provide families the opportunity for bird watching and picnicking.

The Middle Colorado Watershed Council has assembled a community advisory committee to identify opportunities for improved recreational use of middle Colorado River from Glenwood Springs to De Beque. The committee is looking for input from local residents about how they use the river now and ways to improve their experience. All input will be used in the development of a master plan for future planning projects such as river maps and on-the-ground improvements including access points and bankside amenities.

Please consider adding you voice by following this link to take the user survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SSBVQCT

Laurie Rink is a project manager for the Middle Colorado Watershed Council, which works to evaluate, protect and enhance the health of the middle Colorado River watershed through the cooperative effort of watershed stakeholders: anyone standing in the watershed. To learn more about the MCWC, visit https://www.midcowatershed.org. You can also find the Council on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/midcowatershed.

Chain law clears Senate just before spring blizzard

Coloradans will face new chain rules for driving through the mountains in the winter, but not in time for the current blizzard pummeling the Front Range.

The Colorado Senate voted Monday to approve the Winter Conditions and Traction Control Requirements, sponsored by Carbondale Republican Sen. Bob Rankin and Sen. Kerry Donovan, a Vail Democrat.

The bill, which passed the Senate in 27-to-6 vote and cleared the House 46-18 on March 11, sets minimum standards for those driving between Dotsero and Morrison on Interstate 70 between September and June.

Drivers who don’t carry snow tires, chains, or don’t have vehicles with all-wheel or four-wheel drive could face a $100 fine.

“Up in the mountains, weather can change rapidly. The Eisenhower Pass and Vail Pass are some of the most treacherous stretches of interstate in the nation and we should all have the equipment to make that trip safely,” Donovan said in a statement. “This bill will require all drivers to follow the same rules making I-70 safer and more efficient.”

Rankin previously attempted to pass the bill in 2015.  

CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol will look into ways to enforce the update chain restrictions over the summer if the bill clears the governor’s desk, and make recommendations to the Senate Transportation Committee.


tphippen@postindependent.com

Upper Roaring Fork Valley under winter storm warning until Thursday

A winter storm warning is in effect for Aspen, Snowmass Village and the Elk Mountains starting early Wednesday morning and lasting until Thursday as a strong Pacific storm system moves through the West, the National Weather Service said Tuesday afternoon.

The warning calls for snow accumulations above 7,500 feet of “8 to 16 inches with locally higher amounts expected. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph.” The warning, which lasts until 9 a.m. Thursday, covers most of the northern and central Colorado mountains.

There also are high wind warnings in parts of western Colorado and a blizzard warning for eastern Colorado toward Kansas.

Warning map

Around the Roaring Fork Valley, winds were expected to pick up late Tuesday night, and the rain is expected to turn to snow Wednesday morning as the temperatures drop. The high Wednesday in Aspen is forecast for 38 degrees and Thursday 33 degrees. Wednesday and Thursday nights the lows are expected to drop into the teens.

According to the NWS outlook from the Grand Junction office, the unsettled pattern will last into the weekend.

“Expect snow in the mountains and high valleys with rain in the lower elevations. Significant snow accumulations (are) favoring the northern and central mountains,” the NWS predicts. “Unsettled weather continues through the weekend as a couple more weaker systems drop in from the northwest, with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible from time to time.”