I-70 reopens – finally
Post Independent Staff
Life and business returned to normal through the day Friday, after the Colorado Department of Transportation opened Interstate 70 in both directions. Mail service is expected to be impacted through Monday.
The two westbound lanes of traffic from the Morrison exit to Frisco were opened at 5:15 a.m., and the two lanes eastbound from Frisco to the Morrison exit were opened at 6:15 a.m., opening the highway completely, said CDOT spokesperson Bob Wilson.
The Interstate between Frisco and the Morrison exit was closed at approximately 4 p.m. Tuesday due to heavy snows and avalanche danger produced by this week’s Front Range blizzard that dumped several feet of snow in the mountains west of Denver and shut down the city.
Highways north and south of I-70 were also closed, preventing freight and mail trucks from reaching Glenwood Springs and other Western Slope towns.
“When Berthoud Pass closed, it stopped everything in its tracks,” Wilson said.
Postal deliveries ran at about 75 percent of normal on Thursday because mail trucks could not get through to Glenwood Springs. As of Friday afternoon, the trucks still had not arrived from Denver.
“Monday’s deliveries may be a little late due to the volume,” said Glenwood Springs post master Jon Dunbar.
Last week was the second of three weeks for Sunlight Mountain Resort’s spring break season. Resort spokesperson Turi Nevin Turkel said some Front Range skiers were unable to reach the slopes, but others stuck around another two days because they couldn’t return to Denver.
“We’ve been getting calls today from people in Denver who couldn’t get through, but they are coming up, so they’ll at least get to finish their vacations here,” Turkel said.
City Market ran out of bananas by Thursday, and at least one gasoline station ran out of gas.
By Friday at noon, City Market had received deliveries from Denver, and was operating as usual.
“Everyone has been so understanding,” said Glenwood Springs City Market manager Kevin Flohr. “We hardly ran out of anything.”
At Glenwood Canyon Brewpub, next to the Hotel Denver, business was not much affected by the I-70 closure. “Our numbers were up a little over last year, but they’ve been going up every week anyway,” said co-owner Corri Gentry.
Gentry said the restaurant ran out of hot wings and bread bowls for soups because delivery trucks couldn’t get through. “But we managed to get bread bowls from Aspen,” Gentry said.
Bighorn Toyota escaped delivery problems, although one new car buyer almost had to wait an extra few days for his new wheels.
“We had one car that couldn’t make it in,” said sales manager Chet Garling. “But the owner was on vacation, and couldn’t get into DIA.”
Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534
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