Work begins to repair I-70 after rockfall

Permanent repairs began Monday on damage from a rockfall incident that closed Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon for several days.

Flatiron Construction Corp. will be doing the work at an estimated cost of $860,000. The total cost from the rockfall, including Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance and design work, is expected to be much higher.

To encourage speedy completion, the contract with Flatiron carries an incentive of $5,000 per day for early completion, and a penalty of the same amount if the work runs past the May 15 completion date. The company can earn a maximum of $31,000 in early completion incentives.

The state says delays for motorists because of the work should be minimal. A single lane is open in each direction, and the speed limit is reduced from 50 to 40 mph in the construction zone, which also includes a 14-foot width restriction. Repairs will take place during the day on Mondays through Saturdays.

The March 8 rockfall brought some 20 boulders onto the interstate and resulted in holes in elevated sections of roadway.  Motorists were forced to make detours of several hours until temporary repairs were completed March 11.

Permanent repairs will include replacement of 690 square feet of concrete retaining walls and 400 linear feet of median concrete barrier. Steel bridge girders will be straightened, and repairs will be made to the roadway, lighting and electrical systems, the adjoining Glenwood Canyon bike trail, bridge decking, walls and rails.

Although the bike path in the canyon is expected to reopen for the season sometime in April, the section between the Shoshone power plant and Hanging Lake rest area will remain closed until the project’s completion.


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