Ready, set for canyon action
Post Independent Staff
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” If you’re used to speeding your way through Glenwood Canyon, get ready to take your foot off the pedal.
Nancy Shanks of Colorado Department of Transportation said Friday that slowing and stopping is possible on Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon beginning today and continuing though Thursday while crews film scenes for “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” an upcoming major motion picture starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
“We want to let motorists know that their travels will be impacted somewhat during those days, but that we’re working with Colorado State Patrol and movie crews to minimize these delays,” said CDOT maintenance superintendent Weldon Allen.
“There will be no actors on location at all, so we want to encourage people to drive with caution, but keep moving through the canyon as guided by our CSP officers and flaggers,” Allen said.
CDOT has temporarily closed the Hanging Lake rest area at mile marker 125.13 through Friday, March 19, (at the latest) to allow film crews to stage their equipment and enter and exit the highway safely.
“We understand this may inconvenience some visitors and climbers in the area, but we would also like to safely accommodate film crews and motorists,” Allen said.
“This location was the best place to mobilize production. Other rest areas through the canyon will not be impacted.”
Rolling stops add five
to seven minutes to trip
Depending upon weather and lighting, New Regency plans to film brief scenes at the tunnel and in the canyon each day, starting about 8:30 a.m.
CSP officers will slow traffic at each end of the canyon to about 35 mph at the No Name rest area (mile marker 119) for eastbound travelers, and just west of Dotsero (mile marker 133) for westbound travelers, while crews film a scene at the tunnel. Then, traffic will be escorted through.
Shanks said CSP officers don’t anticipate having to completely stop traffic.
“CSP has given this traffic control plan a test run and found that the rolling stops add only five to seven minutes to people’s trips through the canyon. Barring any unforeseen incidents, they’ll do their best to make that happen. And they’ll, as always, have an emergency plan in place during these brief traffic impacts,” she said.
The public will be notified of traffic impacts via digital message signs along I-70 and media will be provided with daily updates of anticipated traffic impact schedules.
“It is a pleasure to work with CDOT on projects like this,” said Marianne Virgili, president and CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. “Staff from CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol have been very cooperative and accommodating with film crews, yet the focus will be on maintaining traffic flow and safety in the canyon. It should be a great project.”
Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518
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