A 17-mile stretch of Interstate 70 will be closed in Glenwood Canyon on Wednesday and Thursday for rockfall mitigation work.
The interstate will be closed from Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) to Exit 133 (Doterso) from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. both days.
Crews will be adding protective fencing on the hillside just west of the Hanging Lake Tunnel. One of the fences will be installed 300 feet above the highway.
"Weather permitting, crews will utilize a military-style helicopter to deliver thirteen steel posts erecting protective fencing,” said Mike Fowler, project engineer. "The full canyon closures are necessary because of the safety considerations when the UH-1 military-style helicopter maneuvers and sets steel posts."
The helicopters will help place 16-foot tall fence posts into concrete footings for a series of fences. The posts weigh 1,800 to 2,800 pounds, officials said.
During the closure, the Hanging Lake Trail will still be accessible for cyclists and hikers on the Glenwood Canyon bike path. However, cyclists and foot traffic may experience 10 minute holds on the Glenwood Canyon Bike Path near the Hanging Lake Tunnel.
February rock slide
The work comes after two rock slides in the same area of Glenwood Canyon at 3 a.m. and 9 p.m. on February 15.
The second slide caused significant damage and forced officials to close a 24-mile stretch of the highway for several days.
When the highway reopened February 21, only one lane was open, and only for part of the day, with pilot cars leading drivers through the reconstruction zone.
It wasn't until March 9 that both decks of the highway reopened, but only one lane on each deck opened until April 13.