I-70 reopened after Sunday rockslide in DeBeque Canyon | PostIndependent.com

I-70 reopened after Sunday rockslide in DeBeque Canyon

Crews have spent the past few days working on rock mitigation in the De Beque Canyon as I-70 reopened late last night.

Drivers heading east from Grand Junction over the past few days were faced with Interstate 70 detours after a rockslide in DeBeque Canyon closed the highway for more than two days.

Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Tracy Trulove said crews were able to stabilize the slope after rock mitigation work.

The highway reopened at around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Trulove said crews worked on a section of boulders where the original rockslide occurred and after they were done blasting used hand scaling techniques to shake the rest loose.

Hand scaling crews will use crowbars and even airbags to shake the rocks loose, she said. Contractor Rock Slide. Inc. was used for the mitigation work.

The rockslide occurred eight miles east of Exit 49.

“It’s prudent to err on the side of caution when it comes to rockfall mitigation,” CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew said when the rock slide occurred at around noon on Sunday. “We appreciate motorists taking it slow and planning ahead for the increase in travel time on the detour route.”

Rocks disabled two vehicles when the slide initially occurred with both drivers transported with minor to moderate injuries, according to CDOT.

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