CDOT reopens all lanes through Glenwood Canyon

Road crews finished repairing rockfall damage on Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon and reopened all of its lanes, state highways officials announced Wednesday.

Lanes on the eastbound and westbound sides of the interstate were opened through a small stretch of the highway near Hanging Lake Tunnel sooner than expected because road crews completed their work two weeks early, Colorado Department of Transportation officials said.

As a result, the contractor doing the work, Flatiron Construction, will earn a $31,000 bonus for getting the job done 12 days before the May 31 deadline, which had been extended by CDOT for installation of more wire netting along the canyon walls.

“Even with the addition of rockfall netting and some weather challenges, the contractor expedited this project, maintained a safe work zone and delivered a successful project,” said Joe Elsen, program engineer for CDOT’s Region 3 East.

The repairs were needed after an early-morning rockslide left dozens of boulders on the roadway, including one the size of a semitrailer. The rocks tore chunks out of a raised section of the highway near the banks of the Colorado River. No one was injured when that occurred.

Road workers had to install about 150 feet of new steel bridge railings and about 120 feet of guardrail, remove and replace about 690 square feet of concrete and lay about 500 tons of road base and another 400 tons of asphalt.

Repair costs came to about $2.2 million, most of which will be reimbursed to the state from the Federal Highway Administration.

CDOT officials said they hope to get more federal aid to do a follow-up study on where rockfall mitigation should be done elsewhere in the canyon.


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