I-70 re-opens both directions
5 p.m. GLENWOOD CANYON Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon, closed by a massive rockfall early Thursday morning, re-opened Friday afternoon. The eastbound lanes opened to motorists at 2:30 p.m. and the westbound lanes at 3:20 p.m. Beginning early Friday, work crews blasted part of the rockfall that fell about two-thirds of the way down the canyon walls, and were balanced precariously above the highway just west of the Hanging Lake Tunnels. Two dynamite blasts on Friday, one a first light and another shortly after brought down what remained of about 200 tons of rock that fell approximately 1,500 feet from the limestone cliffs above the highway at 7:30 Thursday morning.The massive rockslide punched van-sized holes through the decking of the highway in both directions forcing closure of the interstate in both directions between Glenwood Springs and Gypsum for more than 30 hours. Thanksgiving travelers were sent on a 220-mile detour around the canyon.Early media reports Friday said no one was injured because the interstate was closed earlier on Thursday morning while crews cleaned up after a truck had overturned about a half mile west of the Hanging Lake Tunnels.In fact, according to the Colorado State Patrol, the truck overturned at 8:05 p.m. Wednesday, and the westbound lanes of I-70 were closed from 8:05 to 11 p.m. The eastbound lanes remained open. For complete coverage, please see Post-Independent Sunday Edition.3:20 p.m.: Heres the latest update on the closure of Interstate 70, as of 3:20 p.m. Friday: One lane for both east- and westbound Interstate 70 is now open.2:45 p.m.: One eastbound lane of Interstate 70 is now open. According to a news release, CDOT crews have made great progress clearing the rocks from yesterdays rockslide on I-70, east of Glenwood Springs. Additionally, geologists and other specialists have been working to stabilize the slope by scaling and blasting to minimize the potential for additional rock to slide. One lane I-70 eastbound is now open to traffic. We are working on westbound but right now dont have an exact time. Significant repairs to the highway will continue over the coming weeks and at this point, there is no estimated time for the highway to completely re-open to all lanes.CDOT appreciates motorists continued patience while work progresses to repair I-70. 2:15 p.m.: Heres the latest update on the closure of Interstate 70, as of 1:45 p.m. Friday: State officials are optimistic that I-70 will be open this afternoon, one lane each direction. Crews are continuing to blast and scale the mountain to bring down loose rock. There is still a large amount of rock that needs to come down and be cleared prior to opening the road. So far, workers have removed about 200-300 tons of boulders. The rocks currently are sitting on both east- and west-bound exits at Hanging Lake, and have filled up completely the Hanging Lake rest stop.12 p.m.: Heres the latest update from the Colorado Department of Transportation, as of 11 a.m. Friday:CDOT crews are continuing to blast and scale the mountain to bring down loose rock. There is still a large amount of rock that needs to come down and be cleared prior to opening the road. The state had hoped to open the road this morning but because of the amount of rock that is coming down, it looks like the Interstate won’t open until sometime this afternoon. At that point, the state expects to have one lane of I-70 open in each direction. The state apologizes for not being able to pinpoint an exact time, but anything can happen during the rock scaling and the state just isnt sure what else will be required to open the roadway.
Alternate routes around Glenwood Canyon:If youre traveling westbound on I-70, there are three options: Exit onto U.S. 40 at Empire, go to Craig, then get on Colorado Highway 13 in Craig. From there, head south to I-70. Exit onto State Highway 9 in Silverthorne, go U.S. 40 in Kremmling then get on State Highway 13 in Craig. From there, head south to I-70. Exit I-70 at Wolcott and take State Highway 131 to US 40, then get on Colorado Highway 13 at Craig. From there, head south to I-70.From eastbound I-70: Exit I-70 at Rifle and travel north onto State Highway 13 in Craig. From there, take U.S. 40 east back to I-70.CDOT http://www.dot.state.co.us/
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