Ice on shaded stretch of I-70 caused pile-up Friday that closed Glenwood Canyon |

Ice on shaded stretch of I-70 caused pile-up Friday that closed Glenwood Canyon

Ryan Summerlin

After a three-hour closure, eastbound Interstate 70 opened shortly after 5 p.m. Friday following a pileup of about 18 vehicles on shaded, icy pavement in Glenwood Canyon.

The wrecks, about 1 mile east of No Name, included three semis and 15 passenger vehicles and closed eastbound I-70 at mile 116, the main Glenwood Springs exit.

Westbound traffic was unaffected.

The closure started shortly before 2 p.m.

Remarkably, given the number of vehicles involved, no injuries were reported, said Tracy Trulove, Colorado Department of Transportation region 3 communications manager.

Trulove said the accidents were caused by people driving too fast for the conditions, and this spot on the interstate has been icy after Thursday’s snowfall, despite efforts to plow and put down deicer and sand.

CDOT crews have been plowing and working in the canyon all day, but these wrecks were in an area that remains shaded for much of the day.

The pavement temperature was about 20 degrees, said Trulove.

Glenwood received about 7 inches of snow in the storm that ended Thursday. Temperatures fell below zero Friday morning.

While Friday was sunny and most roads melted clear after plowing overnight and in the morning, the Glenwood Canyon floor is almost always in shade, delaying melting.

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