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I-70 through Glenwood Canyon back open after mudslide

Glenwood Canyon mudslide 8-16-23
Glenwood Canyon mudslide 8-16-23
Posted at 6:09 PM, Aug 16, 2023

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — A mudslide prompted highway officials to close both directions of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon for almost four hours Wednesday.

The mudslide happened at 5 p.m. in the canyon between No Name (exit 119) and Grizzly Creek (exit 121). The interstate was closed from West Rifle (exit 87) to Dotsero (exit 133).

The Colorado Department of Transportation said the slide was mostly water with some mud and debris. The deepest part of the slide was 1.5 feet against the roadway barrier. Water and debris filled the culvert next to the roadway up to nine feet, the agency said.

Crews began clearing the slide with pre-positioned equipment, according to CDOT. Just before 9 p.m., the agency announced both directions of the interstate were back open.

Mudslides from the Grizzly Creek burn scar has forced the agency to close Glenwood Canyon on several occasions.

Such closures may last a few minutes or several hours, depending on the incident. If the closure lasts longer than an hour, traffic will be diverted to the northern alternate route.

The northern alternate route includes at least a two-hour-long detour. Westbound traffic can exit at Silverthorne and travel north on Colorado 9 to U.S. 40, then west to Craig. From Craig, take Colorado 13 south to Rifle and back on I-70. Eastbound traffic will need to exit at Rifle and take the same route in the other direction.

Drivers planning to use I-70 or other high-country roads should bring supplies with them in case they need to spend extended time in the car, CDOT said. At the minimum, this can include water, snacks, flashlight, and a blanket.

Check on road conditions on CDOT's website here and sign up for traffic alerts here.


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