Glenwood Canyon closed due to rockslide; Aspen Times delivery delayed
February 5, 2019
Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon is closed in both directions because of a rockslide overnight just west of Grizzly Creek, the Colorado Department of Transportation said in a news release Tuesday morning.
The slide occurred about 1 a.m. Tuesday and there is no timeframe on when the road will be opened. The Colorado State Patrol said expected the canyon to be closed “most of the day,” according to a tweet about 5 a.m. Alternative routes are advised.
CDOT officials said for safety reasons, crews “will wait until daybreak to further evaluate the size of the rockslide and any damage to the roadway. CDOT's geohazards team has also mobilized to the scene.”
It does not appear that any vehicles were involved or any injuries occurred. The highway is closed at the main Glenwood Springs exit 116 on the canyon’s westside, and at Dotsero (mile marker 133) on the east side.
The Colorado State Patrol suggests an alternative route of Highway 131 (Wolcott) to Highway 40 (Steamboat Springs) to Highway 13 (Rifle).
"Do not use Cottonwood Pass," the tweet says.
Glenwood Canyon is CLOSED in both directions due to large rockslide. Crews will be evaluating safety at daylight. Expect extended closure. Alt Route is HWY 131 (Wolcott) to HWY 40 (Steamboat) to HWY 13 (RIFLE). DO NOT USE Cottonwood Pass! pic.twitter.com/Pg7iG9Lb6i
— CSP Public Affairs (@CSP_News) February 5, 2019
Cottonwood Pass and numerous other high-mountain passes are closed in the winter, including Highway 82 over Independence Pass east of Aspen.
The Aspen Times newspaper editions are being sent through an alternative route and not expected to be delivered in Aspen until noon. To read the Aspen Times e-Edition, click here.
The Bustang bus route from Denver to Grand Junction will stop at Eagle, officials said Tuesday morning.
With snow in the Glenwood Springs-area forecast through Wednesday, travel advisories are out for other western Colorado highways, as well. The state's passenger vehicle traction law and a requirement for commercial vehicles to use chains are in effect for Highway 133 over McClure Pass south of Carbondale.
The stretch of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon is prone to rock slides, in particular the section west of the Hanging Lake Tunnel.
A major rockslide on Feb. 15, 2016, resulted in a near week-long closure in both directions and lengthy detours north via U.S. 40 and south along U.S. 50. The canyon was open to one lane only in both directions after six days, but using a pilot car to guide traffic in alternating fashion for several weeks. I-70 through the canyon was not fully reopened until the middle of April that year, after $5 million in emergency repairs.
CDOT said the average daily traffic for Glenwood Canyon is around 300 vehicles per hour.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.