Motorists advised to plan for heavy weekend traffic on I-70, likely closures in Glenwood Canyon |

Motorists advised to plan for heavy weekend traffic on I-70, likely closures in Glenwood Canyon

Burn area in the median of Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon during the initial days of the Grizzly Creek Fire earlier this month.
Courtesy CDOT

The Colorado Department of Transportation has issued an advisory for motorists traveling the Interstate 70 mountain corridor this weekend to plan for heavy traffic and to be prepared for closures in Glenwood Canyon.

Continuing repairs from the recent wildfire are ongoing, and weather-related impacts are also anticipated that could close the canyon in the event of a debris flow from the fire burn area.

“Denver metro motorists heading into the mountains should expect variable conditions as well,” CDOT advised in a Friday morning news release.

A hazardous weather outlook has been issued for the central mountains, including I-70 and much of the Western Slope.

“The forecast includes rain and the potential for heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday, which could cause mudslides, debris flow or rockfall onto I-70 in Glenwood Canyon,” according to the CDOT advisory.

“Burn areas from the Grizzly Creek Fire have increased vulnerability for mudslides and rockfall. It is possible that any of those impacts could require a safety closure in the canyon.”

There is also ongoing repair work to power poles being conducted by Xcel involving helicopter operations that will also likely require closures on Saturday in Glenwood Canyon, the release stated.

I-70 reopened on Monday after an extended closure due to the Grizzly Creek Fire. Motorists should be prepared for reduced speeds and no stopping in the canyon. Rest areas and the bike path continue to be closed for public safety.

“Highway closures can last for as little as a few minutes or for as long as several hours,” CDOT further advises, suggesting that travelers be supplied with an emergency kit including water, snacks, flashlight and a blanket.

“Remember to also carry water for your pets if you’re traveling with animals,” CDOT suggested. “You may even consider packing some items to keep you or children occupied while waiting in the car.” 

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