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Massive Rockslide Closes I-70 in Colorado

16 Feb 2016, 1:23 pm

rockslide-2_1455645436508_291913_ver1.0WeatherNation Affiliate KUSA – A second rockslide in 24 hours has closed Glenwood Canyon.

Shortly after westbound Interstate 70 was able to reopen after crews cleaned up several large boulders that fell Monday morning, the Colorado Department of Transportation announced that it would have to close again in both directions due to another rockslide, this time directly west of Hanging Lake Tunnel and eight miles east of Glenwood Springs.

The highway is closed in both directions from Dotsero to Glenwood Springs.

The closure went into effect around 10 p.m. Monday. CDOT said it is expected to last throughout Tuesday since CDOT field supervisors had to call in geologists to assess the slide area from helicopter Tuesday morning.

The slide caused major damage to the roadway, retaining wall, bridge/guardrail damage that still needs to be assessed.

The rocks are about the size of small cars, and the hill is extremely unstable — making clean up difficult.

There was a semi-truck caught in the slide Monday night, disabling the truck. No one was injured. Crews have cleared out remaining semi-trucks that were stuck in the canyon. All passenger vehicles were also cleared out of the area.

It is undetermined at this point when the interstate will reopen. The alternate route for westbound motorists is north on CO 131 at Wolcott to Steamboat Springs, west on US 40 to Craig, then south on CO 13 to Rifle and back to I-70. This is a 203-mile alternate route that will take nearly four hours to travel. This detour adds 146 miles and about three hours to a regular trip from Wolcott to Rifle on I-70.

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