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I-70 is fully back open east of Aurora

The interstate shut down Wednesday for a crash between the Denver metro area and the Kansas state line.

COLORADO, USA — Interstate 70 reopened fully east of Denver on Friday morning, two days after a multivehicle crash involving at least nine semis, according to the Colorado State Patrol (CSP).

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the westbound lanes of the highway reopened shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday. One lane of eastbound I-70 reopened Thursday.

The crash in the Strasburg area involved at least nine semi-trucks and 12 passenger vehicles. Two people had minor injuries, CSP said. 

On Thursday morning, a spokesperson for CSP said that they were still in the process of trying to remove the stuck or disabled vehicles from the eastbound side of the highway.

"Everything is just tangled and messed up with each other. It’s taking a while to get all of these separated," said CSP Master Trooper Gary Cutler.

The efforts took a while due to the size of the big rigs involved and the need to unload cargo from some of them, CSP said.

"A lot of times we have to unload those vehicles because they’re just going to be too heavy for the tows to be able to handle that weight with the damage they have done to them," Cutler said. "It’s just manpower that’s going to go ahead and unload those. Sometimes they have to bring in fork lifts to get some of the heavier stuff off. They just have to break it open and get those loads off of there."

Cutler said CSP sent a hazmat team to contain some spilled fuel. Before the road could fully reopen, each trucking company had to figure out a plan to come and pick up everything that spilled.

"Once we get all of our part done, then it comes down to private companies or those trucking companies bringing in their own people to unload those vehicles and do any type of actual clean up," Cutler said. 

The state doesn’t organize that part of the cleanup, which means private companies have to be called in for each individual truck that crashed. In a crash like this where trucks split in half, that can take a while.


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