GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — The potential for another mudslide prompted highway officials to close both directions of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon Tuesday.
The interstate closed from Glenwood Springs to Dotsero around 5:30 p.m. It reopened around 8:20 p.m.
The Colorado Department of Transportation said the closure was due to a flash flood warning for the Grizzly Creek burn scar area and the potential for heavy rain Tuesday evening. So far, no mudslide has been reported in Glenwood Canyon. Rest areas and the trail along the river in the canyon were closed earlier in the day.
The highway was shut down twice over the weekend after two separate mudslides from the burn scar washed over the road. CDOT warned on Monday that closures could happen again if rain continues in the mountains, which is currently the case.
CDOT said a flash flood warning for the area will trigger a closure through the canyon. The agency said it is working to coordinate with the Kansas Department of Transportation and Utah Department of Transportation regarding potential ongoing impacts to I-70 this week.
These 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.
The source of the mudslides is the Grizzly Creek Fire burn scar. The human-caused fire started August 10, 2020 in Glenwood Canyon and burned more than 32,000 acres in the White River National Forest.