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CDOT makes progress on I-70 cleanup in Glenwood Canyon

Dry weather aided CDOT crews who removed 440 loads of debris from Interstate 70 over the weekend.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — Good weather allowed crews to work without interruption on clearing mud and other debris from Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon over the weekend, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

Crews spent the weekend hauling debris from both the east and west sides of the canyon.

CDOT said crews were able to remove 440 truck loads of debris on Saturday, Aug. 7 and Sunday, Aug. 8. Each truck load equals 13 tons of material.

CDOT has no estimate as to when it may be able to open the interstate to traffic after mudslides caused significant damage to the highway last weekend.

The remainder of the debris was cleared from the eastbound lanes at mile marker 124.3, which is an important area to assess in order to determine what is required to safely reopen I-70, according to CDOT.

Crews continued cleaning from Hanging Lake Tunnel to Bair Ranch, loading trucks with 110 loads on Sunday. Work will resume this week with crews cleaning drainages, drop drains and washing roadways.

The priority will be to continue to clean up all the slides from Hanging Lake Tunnel to Bair Ranch on the eastbound lanes, where there is still a lot of debris, CDOT said.   

RELATED: 21 people rescued from Greyhound bus that tried to get around I-70 closure

On the west of Hanging Lake Tunnel, 94 loads were hauled on Sunday. Crews were able to completely uncover the remainder of the debris at the washed out area at mile marker 123.5 eastbound, so that the CDOT inspections and CDOT engineering teams can get a better assessment of the damage.

CDOT said this is one of the most critical areas for the engineering team to inspect the potential damage now that the debris is cleared in order for visual inspection to occur. That area measures approximately 120 feet wide on the north side/passing lane and narrows up to approximately 70 feet on the south side/driving lane. 

Credit: Colorado Department of Transportation

The recommended route around the I-70 closure while traveling west is:

  • Exit I-70 at Exit 205 (Silverthorne)
  • Go west on Colorado 9 toward Kremmling
  • Continue west on U.S. 40 and south on Colorado 13
  • Return to I-70 at Rifle (Exit 90)

When traveling east, reverse the path. The detour can add between 90 minutes and 2 hours to the trip, depending on traffic.

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