CDOT cleans up mudslide on Interstate 70 |

CDOT cleans up mudslide on Interstate 70

Post Independent/Kelley Cox

NEW CASTLE – Colorado Division of Transportation plow trucks were clearing mud and water from a section of westbound Interstate 70 near New Castle Monday morning. These large, orange trucks usually see the majority of their work in the winter, but they prove to be useful in Garfield County where CDOT crews have more to worry about than just snow covering the highways.Heavy rains Sunday night brought down mud and debris from the hills north of I-70 that clogged a “storm-drain” culvert that runs beneath the interstate. The culvert’s intake on the northern side of I-70 was clogged by trees, mud and debris, according to CDOT spokeswoman Nancy Shanks. The outlet on the southern side of the interstate where storm waters are released into the Colorado River was clogged as well.

“It was just the great amount of rain that clogged it,” Shanks said. “We’ve seen this type of thing before.”I-70 was closed around 9 p.m. Sunday night and was reopened shortly after noon on Monday. CDOT crews worked throughout the night in waist-deep water unclogging the culvert intake while another crew worked to clear 18 inches of mud and water, spanning approximately 150 feet of I-70, before westbound lanes could be reopened. Crews will continue working to unclog the southern (outlet) side of the culvert over the next few days, according to Shanks.During the closure, westbound traffic was diverted onto Highway 6 through New Castle and back onto the interstate at Silt.

CDOT crews were working to clear a “handful” of other mudslides along I-70 from Palisade to Gypsum, according to Shanks. Near mile marker 141 east of Gypsum another mudslide closed a section of I-70. Another mudslide at mile marker 114, near the West Glenwood Springs I-70 exit, brought mud down the hill, but that slide didn’t reach the interstate, Shanks said.Contact John Gardner: 384-9114jgardner@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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