Eastbound I-70 near Vail will close Friday for up to 6 hours to remove crashed semi from steep embankment
September 22, 2017
The eastbound lanes of Interstate 70, which were closed for nearly four hours Thursday afternoon and evening after a semi-trailer crashed near Vail Pass, will close again Friday morning while crews work to remove the truck.
In a tweet late Thursday, Colorado State Patrol Troop 4C, which covers Eagle and other high-country counties, said the expected closure will begin at 9:30 a.m. Friday. The closure could last as long as six hours while the semi is removed from a steep embankment.
Motorists who need to head east from Vail to Copper Mountain and beyond should either get an early start on their trip or plan to take an alternate route. U.S. Highway 24 south from the Minturn exit just west of Vail is the most logical choice. Once in Leadville, take Colorado Highway 91 north to Copper Mountain, where motorists can reconnect with eastbound I-70.
From Aspen or the Roaring Fork Valley, travelers can take Highway 82 east over Independence Pass to Highway 24 and go north to Leadville then Copper Mountain.
A serious single-vehicle semi crash left eastbound Vail Pass closed from 5:15 PM until 8:45 PM. pic.twitter.com/eVaTwhhl8q
— CSP Eagle (@CSP_Eagle) September 22, 2017
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The single-vehicle crash occurred a little after 5 p.m. Thursday. Pictures from passing motorists and law enforcement agencies show the semi's trailer resting on its back on a steep hillside off the highway. The semi also caught fire as a result of the crash. The condition of the driver and any potential passengers was not clear as of late Thursday.
The Colorado Department of Transportation reported that the eastbound lanes re-opened at about 9:15 p.m. Thursday. All eastbound traffic had been stopped in Vail.