Closure slowing food deliveries |

Closure slowing food deliveries

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Despite the more-than-200-mile detour to bypass the Glenwood Canyon, deliveries to local stores were only a little behind schedule due to the rock fall that had Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon closed Monday and Tuesday.

The 17-mile section of I-70 remains closed to traffic from Dotsero to Glenwood Springs.

According to Safeway director of public affairs Kris Staaf, the detour pushed delivers back only a little bit, but Glenwood customers do not have to worry about out-of-stock items due to the slide.

“We have adjusted our travel schedules,” Staaf said. “These things happen from time to time, and we just need to shift and adjust accordingly.”

Staaf said that Safeway delivery trucks haul supplies to the Glenwood store, and other city’s along the I-70 corridor, on a daily basis. This recent closure has caused the delivery trucks to go from Denver all the way to Craig, north of Rifle, and on to Glenwood Springs.

However, Staaf didn’t expect that customers would even notice the impact.

“We don’t expect our customers to see any disruption in service,” she said.

City Market spokesman Trail Daugherty said that his store’s deliveries were running about three to four hours behind schedule due to the detour.

“It has affected our schedules but all deliveries have been made,” he said.

However, he too, said that customers would not likely see any difference.

“Depending on the weather we encounter deliveries can be between three and four hours late, but consumers shouldn’t see a lot of items out of stock,” Daugherty said, because each store in the Roaring Fork Valley region receives deliveries several times each week.

With CDOT unable to estimate how soon the road may again be open to traffic, and with repair time frame estimates up to two months, the closure could affect tourism for Glenwood Springs coming into spring break.

However, Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association vice president of tourism marketing, Kate Collins, said that she was not too worried that the closure would have much affect on tourism.

“It is concerning, but we still have got business from the west,” Collins said.

While Glenwood usually sees the first crowds of tourist season as the spring thaw hits town in March, Collins said that typically spring break visitors usually come in the last two weeks in March. And she is hopeful that CDOT will have at least some traffic lanes open by then.

“It looks like CDOT’s immediate priority is to get it open as soon as possible,” Collins said. “I feel pretty confident that they will be able to do that by this weekend.”

Governor Bill Ritter declared the 17-mile stretch of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon a disaster emergency Monday. The declaration will allow the state to seek funding from the Federal Highway Administration to help pay for repairs.

The interstate has been closed in both directions at Glenwood Canyon since about midnight Sunday after about 20 boulders, ranging in size from 3 to 20 feet, crashed down onto the road. The largest boulder weighed an estimated 66 tons, according to CDOT engineers.

Crews continued work Tuesday, blowing up the larger boulders into smaller, more manageable pieces to be removed by heavy equipment.

Mitigation crews worked to remove unstable rocks from the canyon wall above the area, as well.

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