Canyon closure rescheduled for Aug 10, 11
Traffic is scheduled to be restricted through Glenwood Canyon 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 10 and 11 for continued rockfall work near Hanging Lake Tunnel.
Helicopter operations were originally scheduled for July, but were postponed due to downward wind drafts and other challenges working along the steep slope, which prevented any posts and fencing to be set.
The Colorado Department of Transportation launched the permanent rockfall project on May 9 in response to the major February rockslide on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon. The anticipated completion date is Sept. 1. The project budget is estimated at around $2 million.
During the closure next week, traffic will be required exit at Glenwood Springs eastbound or Dotsero westbound.
The shortest alternate route for passenger cars is over Independence Pass, a 40-mile scenic route that is limited to vehicles shorter than 35 feet.
Eastbound, take Exit 116 to Colorado 82 (Aspen/Independence Pass) to U.S. 24 (Buena Vista) to Colorado 91 (Copper Mountain/Leadville) to Interstate 70. Westbound motorists may also consider Colorado 131 (Wolcott) or Colorado 9 (Silverthorne) to Steamboat Springs, west on U.S. 40 to Craig, then south on Colorado 13 to Rifle and back to I-70, adding about three hours to a standard trip.
Finally, access to U.S. 50 is available via Grand Junction for eastbound drivers and for westbound drivers by way of U.S. 24/285 through the Salida area from the Front Range.
Commercial vehicle parking will be available at Exit 133 (Dotsero, with width restrictions are in place on several of the alternate routes: 8 feet on Colorado 131, 12 feet on Colorado 9 and 10 feet on Colorado 13. Fines will be imposed for semis attempting to navigate Independence Pass. Cottonwood Pass, Frying Pan Road and Hagerman Pass are not recommended alternate routes.
Bustang service will be operating to and from Glenwood Springs. The Glenwood Canyon bike bath will remain open for recreational use, however flaggers will be posted on the path closer to the rockfall site for traffic control during the helicopter picks.
For updated closure information, call the hotline at 970-618-1457.
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The city of Glenwood Springs has proposed investing $5.76 million for street improvements in the 2020 budget.