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CDOT: Plan for heavy traffic on I-70, likely closures in Glenwood Canyon this weekend

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Posted at 10:30 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-29 19:30:28-04

DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is asking that drivers plan for heavy traffic on Interstate 70, especially along Glenwood Canyon, as crews continue to make repairs due to the Grizzly Creek Fire, along with weather impacts that may prolong your commute.

CDOT warned of hazardous weather outlook which has been issued for the central mountains, including I-70 and much of the Western Slope. The forecast includes rain and the potential for heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday, which could cause mudslides, debris flow or rockfall onto I-70 in Glenwood Canyon, CDOT officials said in a news release, adding it’s possible any of those impacts could call for a safety closure of the highway in the canyon. Ongoing repair work to power poles by Xcel will also likely require closures Saturday in Glenwood Canyon.

Drivers should also be prepared for reduced speeds and no stopping in the canyon, as rest areas and the bike path remain closed for public safety.

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CDOT officials advised that those making the trip to the mountains through I-70 carrying an. Emergency kit.

Alternate routes

Due to heavy rain in the forecast as well as the repair work that still needs to happen along Glenwood Canyon, CDOT recommends drivers take alternate routes to get to their destinations.

Through traffic: CDOT recommends a southern detour route, due to construction on commonly used northern alternate routes. Drivers should anticipate additional traffic on these routes. CDOT has paused some construction projects in order to accommodate detour traffic. CDOT discourages travelers from using highways north of I-70 as a through route, due to construction zones (even if projects are paused during the closure).

WESTBOUND I-70: Denver metro area motorists can travel on US 285 to US 50, and continue west to Grand Junction. Travelers on I-70 can use CO 9 to US 285 south to US 50, or usus CO 91 southwest to US 24 to US 50.

EASTBOUND I-70 : Motorists traveling from Grand Junction can use US 50 east to US 285 and continue to Denver. Eastbound travelers on US 50/285 may also use US 24, CO 91or CO 9 for destinations at or near Vail, Copper Mountain or Silverthorne.

Independence Pass: CO 82 between Aspen and US 24 is open with limited access and alternating traffic, controlled by flagging personnel. Motorists are advised that only passenger vehicles, such as cars, SUVs and vans are allowed. No commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), camper trailers, recreational or similar vehicles are allowed. A 35-foot length restriction is in place. Motorists should expect slow speeds, lengthy travel times and potential delays of up to two hours if traveling over Independence Pass. Campers and recreational vehicles are strongly advised to seek alternate southern routes.

CDOT asks that motorists not use Cottonwood Pass, Hagerman Pass, or other county or forest service roads in Eagle and Garfield counties as a detour. These roads are not built for heavy traffic or commercial oversize vehicles.

Other travel impacts

CDOT says Highway 14 remains closed from west of Cameron Pass and Walden (mile market 161) for eastbound traffic and at Rustic and County Road 69 (mile marker 97) for westbound traffic due to the Cameron Peak Wildfire.

CDOT recommends detouring north on US Highway 287 or Interstate 25 to Laramie, Wyoming, and then traveling on Wyoming Highway 230 to Walden, Colo.

The Williams Fork Fire in Grand County is burning near US Highway 40 and Colorado Highway 9, north of I-70, but is not impacting state highways at this time.