CDOT: I-70 westbound open in Glenwood Canyon after debris flows and Colorado River impacts

Garco 911

July 24, 4:27 am – I-70 is open between mile markers 133 Dotsero and 116 Glenwood Springs westbound lanes only.

Colorado Department of Transportation

I-70 through Glenwood Canyon closed due to several debris flows
Extended closure anticipated. Motorists should use alternate route

July 22, 9:14 pm UPDATE:

I-70 Corridor – I-70 in Glenwood Canyon is closed in both directions again, due to several debris flows that occurred around 5:30 p.m. this evening. The extended closure is between Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) and Exit 133 (Dotsero), with an additional closure point at Exit 87 (West Rifle).

Crews are continuing to assess the slide areas with particular attention to a debris field blocking the Colorado River at mile point 124, about one mile west of Hanging Lake Tunnel. The roadway was not impacted at this location, but CDOT engineers are on site to evaluate any damage to structures. Cinnamon Creek, above the Hanging Lake Tunnel complex, also experienced a significant debris flow but the tunnel complex was not damaged.

An earlier safety closure had been put in place at 4:45 p.m., so vehicles were clear of the canyon. 

This is an EXTENDED CLOSURE and motorists are encouraged to utilize the northern alternate route (Please see attached map). That route is Colorado Highway 13 from Rifle to Craig, east on US 40 to Steamboat over Rabbit Ears Pass to Kremmling, and down Colorado Highway 9 to Silverthorne.

Motorists traveling westbound can access Colorado Highway 82 / Independence Pass. Commercial vehicles and recreational vehicles longer than 35 feet are not permitted on Independence Pass.

Please do not use navigation applications to look for alternate routes.There are many auxiliary roads such as Cottonwood Pass, Hagerman Pass and Eagle/Thomasville Road that are not passable and do not have cell service. Cottonwood Pass is restricted to local traffic only.

Glenwood Canyon debris flow - July 22, 2021

Glenwood Canyon debris flows - July 22, 2021

Glenwood Canyon mud flow - July 22, 2021

Glenwood Canyon debris flow on July 22, 2021

Glenwood Canyon, Colorado debris flow July 22, 2021

Glenwood Canyon debris flow for July 22, 2021

Glenwood Canyon debris flow from July 22, 2021

Garco 911

July 22, 6:16 pm: The existing closure on I-70 has been moved from mile marker 116 eastbound, Glenwood Springs, to mile marker 87, west Rifle.

I-70 is closed between exit 87 and 116 eastbound, with local traffic allowed through exit 109 to access the Highway 82 corridor. Westbound, I-70 is closed at Dotsero, exit 133.

Colorado Department of Transportation

UPDATE – 6:15 pm (7/22) – Debris flows have occurred in several sections of I-70 Glenwood Canyon. This is an EXTENDED CLOSURE with no estimated time of reopening, while crews assess the debris flows. Motorists are advised to seek the northern alternate route via Steamboat Springs.

CDOT asks that motorists use the recommended northern alternate route when detouring around the closure. Westbound motorists from the Denver metro area should exit I-70 at Exit 205 (Silverthorne) and travel north on Colorado Highway 9 towards Kremmling. Travelers will continue west on US Highway 40 and then south on CO 13 to complete the alternate route and return to westbound I-70 at Rifle (Exit 90). Eastbound travelers can detour using the same route in reverse.

Glenwood Canyon detour route

City of Glenwood

July 22, 6:06 pm: Safety closure in effect for the Glenwood Springs River Park at Midland and Devereux and the pedestrian bridge crossing the Colorado River from the River Trail to Two Rivers Park. No estimated time for reopening.

National Weather Service

July 22, 2021, 4:36 p.m.: The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a flash flood warning for the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area in Western Eagle County in west central Colorado, East Central Garfield County in west central Colorado until 6:30 p.m.

At 4:36 p.m. MDT, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain over the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area. Flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly. Excessive rainfall over the burn scar will result in debris flow moving through the Glenwood Canyon area. The debris flow can consist of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials.

HAZARD: Life-threatening flash flooding. Thunderstorms producing flash flooding in and around the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area.
SOURCE: Radar.
IMPACT: Life-threatening flash flooding of areas in and around the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area. Some locations that will experience flash flooding include Glenwood Springs and Shoshone.

FLASH FLOOD DAMAGE THREAT: CONSIDERABLE
Instructions: This is a life threatening situation. Heavy rainfall will cause extensive and severe flash flooding of creeks…streams and ditches in the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area. Severe debris flows can also be anticipated across roads. Roads and driveways may be washed away in places. If you encounter flood waters climb to safety. Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

GarCo 911

July 22, 2021, 4:40 p.m.: I-70 is closed between mile-markers 116 and 133 both directions, Glenwood Springs and Dotsero, due to a flash flood warning.

National Weather Service

July 22, 2021, 12 p.m.: A flash flood watch is in effect for the Grizzly Creek Fire burn area through the evening. The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has expanded the flash flood watch to include portions of northwest Colorado and west central Colorado, including the following areas, in northwest Colorado, Flat Tops. In west central Colorado, Central Colorado River Basin and Gore and Elk mountains/Central Mountain valleys.

National Weather Service meteorologists are monitoring the possibility for heavy rainfall over the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn area, which may lead to flash flooding and debris flows.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS

Monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

CDOT: I-70 westbound open in Glenwood Canyon after debris flows and Colorado River impacts