The Colorado Dept. of Transportation says it doesn’t know when Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon will reopen after Sunday’s rockslide. CDOT crews spent most of Monday blasting to break up the larger boulders, while CDOT geologists assessed the rock cliff above the highway and determined it is too unstable to remain in place.
Rock scaling crews will meet today to determine the best way to mitigate the existing rock.
The slide punched holes in a bridge and dumped boulders the size of semi-trucks on the highway, closing a 17-mile stretch of the road Monday morning.
The slide occurred at midnight, just west of the Hanging Lake Tunnel in Glenwood Canyon, bringing approximately 20 boulders onto the interstate ranging in size from 3 ft to 10 ft in diameter. The largest is estimated to weigh about 66 tons.
The rocks smashed holes in the elevated sections of the roadway—the largest of them in the westbound lanes, measuring 20 ft by 10 ft. Another hole in the lower eastbound lanes measures 6 ft by 6 ft.
“There are a half-dozen other holes and dips in the roadway, as well as areas where rocks are embedded,” said CDOT spokesperson Stacey Stegman. “Rocks are scattered over 100 yd of roadway.”
Also damaged are three sections—about 120 lin ft of steel guardrail and 100 lin ft of median barrier. “The damage is similar to that resulting from a 2004 rockfall in the same area,” Stegman said.
CDOT implemented emergency contracting procedures and met with contractors starting Monday. The transportation department hopes to have a contractor in place by end of business Wednesday, Stegman said.