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CDOT completes I-70 repairs after summer mudslides; Focus shifts to river

Crews want to finish removing debris from the Colorado River before any mudslides and rockfalls that may happen in 2022.

DENVER — One of the summer's biggest travel headaches is not quite in the rearview mirror, but crews are a step closer to the finish line.

The Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT) said Monday that crews have finished the repair work on I-70 through Glenwood Canyon. Mudslides in the area, on the Grizzly Creek Fire’s burn scar, shut down the highway multiple times over the summer.

> The video above is from one of those mudslides in late July.

In addition to economic concerns for nearby businesses and trouble for drivers faced with unpredictable closures, the mudslides did extensive damage to the roadway. Crews spent months clearing mud and debris from the interstate and fixing the ruined asphalt and concrete.

The work to repair the actual roadway is now officially complete.

The next step is to clear the mud and debris that fell into the Colorado River. Crews want to complete this work before the spring runoff to reduce the risks of flooding in 2022.

While there are now two functioning lanes going in each direction through the canyon, drivers should expect intermittent closures for the foreseeable future., CDOT said. This will allow crews to haul away debris removed from the river.

The federal government gave Colorado emergency relief money to help pay for the cleanup there. That includes reimbursement for the work on the river.

CDOT said crews also continue to conduct rock removal from the canyon walls and rockfall fences above I-70 as weather permits.

Anticipated traffic impacts, according to CDOT:

  • Eastbound right lane closures will be in effect Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-dusk each day.
  • Contractors will work together to use the same eastbound right lane closure from Mile Point 123.5-124.5 in order to limit traffic impacts. Four of the largest material flows are in this section.
  • Traffic control will be set up and taken down each day.
  • Traffic control will not be in place from 6-8 a.m. each day to avoid affecting commuter traffic.
  • River recovery work is anticipated to last until April of 2022.
  • Work is contingent on weather forecasts.

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