Netting being set up in rockfall-prone Glenwood Canyon
A contractor is installing about 14,000 square feet of wire mesh netting to help contain rockfall in an area where boulders closed Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon for several days in early March.
The Colorado Department of Transportation added the rockfall netting installation to the work being done by Flatiron Construction Corp. to repair the highway. The installation will cost about $300,000.
Netting will be installed near the bottom of the two chutes where boulders as big as 66 tons struck the highway March 8, punching holes in elevated sections. Highway officials say the netting isn’t intended to prevent an incident like that rockfall. Rather, the hope is to keep smaller rocks less than three feet in diameter from falling from the talus slope onto the highway.
On March 25, the back of a vehicle was struck when such a rock fell in the same area as the March 8 event. The rock originated from lower on the slopes than the boulders had.
The vehicle reportedly was being driven by Grand Junction resident Kurt Kuxhausen, who was uninjured and was able to drive the vehicle home.
Repairs in the canyon are scheduled for completion by May 15. Speed limits in the work zone currently are 40 mph for eastbound traffic and 25 mph for westbound traffic, and a 14-foot width restriction is in place.