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I-70 Mudslides changed the path of Colorado River

CDOT crews say enough material was moved to shift the Colorado River closer to I-70
Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 6:58 AM MDT
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GLENWOOD CANYON, Colo. (KKTV) - So much debris was washed down during the I-70 mudslides in July, it physically moved the path of the Colorado River.

Chuck Decker, CDOT Senior Maintenance Supervisor says, “it absolutely diverted it right against the retaining wall eastbound and over the bike path… we’ll see if maybe one day they can get it back to the main channel and away from the highway, but we’ll see.”

Crews scraped 10 feet of rock and mud from the pavement, and now one lane in each direction is clear. Still, rocks remain piled on the side of the highway, and repairs need to be done.

Decker adds, they’re still finding new damage. “Until we can get it all uncovered and the engineers to really look at how much damage there is exactly, then we’ll be able to tell more when can get in and get it fully reopened.” It’s estimated reopening could take weeks, if not months.

An Amtrak bridge that once stood 30-40 feet above ground is now just a few feet above ground, given the rocks that filled in the void below.

Alternate routes include a southern option on highway 82 and Cottonwood Pass Road, however officials strongly urge against that. That route is only partly paved, narrow, and is not meant to handle the amount of traffic it’s seen since the I-70 closure.

CDOT asks drivers avoid this route because it is not entirely paved, narrow, and not meant to...
CDOT asks drivers avoid this route because it is not entirely paved, narrow, and not meant to handle heavy traffic(KKTV)

Instead, CDOT asks drivers take the safer, northern detour through Steamboat Springs.

CDOT asks drivers take this route until I-70 through Glenwood Canyon is re-opened
CDOT asks drivers take this route until I-70 through Glenwood Canyon is re-opened(KKTV)

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