Expect Glenwood Canyon traffic holds next week while helicopters fly for utility work

Vail Daily staff report
Vehicles drive through Glenwood Canyon.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

The Colorado Department of Transportation, in support of Xcel Energy and PAR Electric, will conduct westbound and eastbound traffic holds on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon on Thursday, July 28, to allow helicopter operations between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The operation is required to protect the traveling public on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon as utility supplies are flown above the roadway to the steep slopes in the canyon.

Crews will prepare for the work with these steps:

  • On Monday, July 25, the westbound Grizzly Creek off-ramp will be closed from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. for equipment unloading. 
  • On Wednesday, July 27, and Thursday, July 28, there will be short right lane westbound closures at mile point 122 for equipment staging.
  • On Thursday, July 28, a westbound Grizzly Creek rest area ramp closure will be implemented at 8 a.m. in order to stage necessary equipment for helicopter operations.

On Thursday, July 28, Xcel Energy and PAR Electric will commence helicopter operations beginning at 9 a.m. Helicopter operations will allow crews to replace several utility poles in the canyon. When the helicopter is airborne, traffic stops on I-70 will be required for eastbound and westbound traffic.

These holds are expected to last 15 minutes or less, depending on the work taking place, before traffic is released. Helicopter operations will take place on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Work is weather-permitting, and safety protocols continue for flash flood watches and warnings. As a safety measure, the Glenwood Canyon recreation path will also be closed. The Hanging Lake Tunnel communications center will be monitoring traffic impacts.

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