Melt-off reveals post-accident spill along I-70 in Glenwood Canyon
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The January thaw over the past week has revealed a fuel or oil spill along the bike path near the No Name tunnels on Interstate 70 east of town that apparently happened when a tractor-trailer truck went off the road there a couple of weeks ago.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, the oil slick was contained by the jersey barrier between the westbound lanes of I-70 and the bike path, and did not appear to have made it to the nearest storm drain that takes runoff into the Colorado River.
“It was snowing pretty hard that day, and it probably wasn’t noticed until the snow started melting and you could see it,” said CDOT Region 3 spokeswoman Tracy Trulove.
The Post Independent received a call late Wednesday afternoon from a trail user who said he noticed the slick, which he reported was about an inch thick in spots.
Trulove said a CDOT worker who was using a front-end loader to clean up debris from the accident in preparation for repairing the guardrail noticed the spill on Thursday morning.
ECOS Environmental was called in that day to contain the spill and make sure it doesn’t progress before CDOT crews could begin work to remove the spill material on Friday, Trulove said.
The Jan. 10 accident occurred at about 5 a.m. and involved a single tractor-trailer rig that skidded out of control coming out of the westbound tunnel and went up and over the top of the guardrail, she said.
“There were a lot of weather-related accidents about that time, and the snow was flying pretty hard that day, so it must have just covered it up until the melt,” Trulove said.
Whenever there is a hazardous material spill associated with a trucking accident, Trulove said it is the responsibility of the trucking company to bear the cost of cleaning it up.
“If we can’t get a hold of the company representative, we will contact someone to come in and take care of it,” she said.
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Construction for the South Midland project is on schedule, though crews will continue to work on weekends to keep the course.