Single lanes open on damaged interstate

After a closure lasting three-and-a-half days, Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon was opened Thursday afternoon to one lane of travel in each direction.

The reopening put an end to motorists being forced to take detours of hundreds of miles, such as one on U.S. Highway 40 through Steamboat Springs.

Resort-related businesses in the Glenwood Springs area also were anxious for the canyon to reopen, particularly before this weekend, when many Front Range residents are expected to visit the area on spring break.

The highway through the canyon had been closed since it was damaged by major rockfall early Monday morning. On Wednesday, workers used explosives to knock down a large boulder from the hillside in the same area so it didn’t pose a threat of falling later.

Crews on Thursday did drainage and cleanup work and final pavement repairs so one lane in each direction could be opened. The speed limit through the area has been reduced to 40 mph, and loads more than 14 feet wide are prohibited from travel through the work area.

The state is working to hire a contractor to make permanent repairs to the interstate. Rocks punched holes Monday through elevated sections of the highway. Repair work is expected to take months to complete, meaning traffic through the canyon will be restricted to one lane in each direction in the meantime.


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