Glenwood Canyon rock fall makes it a chore getting to work
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The morning commute just got a lot longer.
Thanks to the massive rock fall in Glenwood Canyon, a number of people who work in Eagle County and live on the west side of the canyon are facing a difficult task.
Fifteen Eagle County employees did not make it into work on Monday because of the rock slide, county spokeswoman Kris Friel said. Some employees were able to work from home or temporarily work out of the county building in El Jebel, she added.
A pair of Gypsum engineers who live in Garfield County were not able to come to work, town manager Jeff Shroll said.
At the Eagle County School District, several teachers who work in Eagle and Gypsum were turned back because of the slide.
Eagle Valley Elementary School music teacher Bridget Baker and EVES art teacher Cindy Reichardt, who both live in the Glenwood Springs, were preparing to make the long drive around through Steamboat Springs to Eagle Monday night.
“We don’t want to miss another day of school, and it looks like this (closure) could last a while,” Baker said. “I have a school concert later in the week to get ready for.”
Baker heard about the highway closure on the news as she was getting ready for work Monday morning. She can also see I-70 from her downtown Glenwood home and could see the orange cones and signs blocking eastbound travel.
“I was hoping it wasn’t as bad as it apparently is,” Baker said Monday afternoon as she was trying to determine how many days to pack for. “We’ll stay over there for the remainder of the week if we have to.”
Reichardt has a house in Eagle where she and Baker planned to stay.
Five teachers at Eagle Valley High School also live on the west side of Glenwood Canyon, principal Mark Strakbein said. Science teacher Dan Carden said he found out about the slide early Monday morning as he was getting ready for work at his home in No Name. Usually it takes him 25 minutes to get to work, but with I-70 closed, he said his only alternative route would have taken about five hours.
“That’s not reality,” he said.
What is a reality is commuting through the canyon regardless of the dangers.
“It’s just the reality of making that commute,” he said. “There’s a certain danger to it. It doesn’t phase me every day. I choose to live where I live and work where I work. It’s a conscious decision. I wouldn’t change either one.”
At the Eagle County airport, several travelers who had planned to fly into the Gypsum airport and drive to Aspen through Glenwood Canyon and up Highway 82, found themselves out of luck.
Airport director Ovid Seifers said some people made arrangements to drive to Aspen through a much longer alternate route through Steamboat Springs, Craig and Meeker. For customers headed to Aspen who have flights into Gypsum planned within the next few days, Ovid has been advising them to contact their airlines. It is up to individual carriers whether the flights can be rescheduled, Seifers said. The Eagle County airport does not offer flights to Aspen, he said. Only the Denver airport offers flights to Aspen, Seifers said.
Some businesses in Eagle County have been having trouble moving supplies because of I-70’s closure.
A spokesman for City Market King Soopers said the rockslide has delayed some food deliveries, but they are optimistic that customers won’t see too big of an impact.
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