UPDATE: I-70 remains closed as debris expected to release soon down Colorado River from Glenwood Canyon | PostIndependent.com

UPDATE: I-70 remains closed as debris expected to release soon down Colorado River from Glenwood Canyon

Debris brought down from the Grizzly Creek burn scar blocks the flow of the Colorado River on Thursday. Photo courtesy of the Colorado Department of Transportation.

UPDATE 11:35 A.M. FRIDAY, JULY 23: People should stay away from the Colorado River for now as here is heavy debris is expected to head downstream soon from Glenwood Canyon, a Garfield County alert states.

Interstate 70 remains closed as Colorado Department of Transportation workers assess impacts from major debris flows through Glenwood Canyon.

“Crews are continuing to assess the slide areas with particular attention to a debris field blocking the Colorado River at mile point 124, about one mile west of Hanging Lake Tunnel,” a CDOT release states. “The roadway was not impacted at this location but CDOT engineers are on site to evaluate any damage to structures.”

Cinnamon Creek, a tributary of the Colorado above the Hanging Lake Complex “also experienced a significant debris flow but the tunnel complex was not damaged.”

No traffic was in the canyon during the debris slides due to an earlier closure put in place at 4:45 p.m., the release states.

Motorists traveling eastbound should use CDOT’s recommended northern alternate route. That route is Colorado Highway 13 Rifle to Craig, east on U.S. Highway 40 to Steamboat over Rabbit Ears Pass to Kremmling down Colorado Highway 9 to Silverthorne.

Motorists traveling westbound can access Colorado Highway 82 Independence Pass. Commercial vehicles and recreational vehicles longer than 35 feet are not permitted on Independence Pass.

Cottonwood Pass is restricted to local traffic only, the release states.

The existing closure on I-70 has been moved from mile-marker 116 eastbound, Glenwood Springs, to mile-marker 87, West Rifle, although it is open to local traffic.

I-70 originally closed between Glenwood Springs Exit 116 and Dotsero Exit 133 in both directions through Glenwood Canyon due to a flash flood warning.

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