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Travel Update: One lane opens in Colo's I-70

Travel Update: One lane opens in Colo's I-70

[ Fri, 2010-03-12 16:50 ]
I-70 at Glenwood Canyon re-opens
Almost four days after a massive rock slide closed a key Colo. I-70 ski corridor, traffic was flowing again in both directions. Extensive repairs are still needed, but a 200-mile detour is no longer required to drive to the Aspen valley and Steamboat region.

Traffic started flowing again at 3:05 pm Thursday through a key segment of Colo. 1-70 as crews had worked around the clock to open the damaged 17-mile "choke point" in the highway system. More repairs are still needed to open all four lanes of traffic, and the speed limit has been reduced to 40 mph from 55 mph, with loads wider than 14 feet prohibited from the roadway. A rockslide early Monday over the Hanging Lakes section of I-70, just before Glenwood Springs, had closed the highway, spewing boulders—some the size of semi-tractors and weighing up to 66 tons—onto the roadway. Colo. Gov. Bill Ritter quickly declared a disaster emergency. No one was injured, though several of the rocks punched holes through the overpass that carries the highway over the Colorado River. The Denver Post has photos of the rock slide and a video of repair work, along with a complete story. Interestingly, a rockslide occurred in the same location in November of 2004, though only the westbound lanes were damaged. Traffic was restored the next day by using the eastbound lanes for both directions, but full repairs took two months and cost $700,000.