UPDATE Monday 12:30 p.m. – Cottonwood Pass has been reopened after successful vehicle recovery.
UPDATE Monday 11:45 am – Cottonwood Pass between Garfield and Eagle counties would be temporarily closed Monday morning to allow vehicle recovery. The Colorado National Guard is currently conducting traffic control on the Mountain Pass. There is no estimated time for reopening the pass, access to which is restricted.
Photos released Monday by the Colorado Department of Transportation show a large amount of debris still covering a particular section of Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon and damage to the highway surface, giving a glimpse of the long road ahead. before repairs can be made.
Photos of the progress relate to the area near mile post 123, approximately 2 miles east of Grizzly Creek, where the largest debris flow occurred on the nights of July 29 and July 31, including damage to the roadway and barrier wall at that location.
The I-70 through the canyon remains closed indefinitely due to the amount of debris still on the roadway and damaged by some of the larger landslides.
The CDOT provided an update on Monday, saying good weather over the weekend allowed crews to work non-stop to clear mud and other debris from I-70 in Glenwood Canyon.
“The CDOT teams were able to make significant progress … by carrying 440 loads over the two days,” CDOT said in a press release. “Each truck load equals 13 tonnes of material.
There was no official weather monitoring over the NOAA weekend and there was no precipitation at the burn scar or in the canyon, as dry weather sets in again. .
The interstate cleanup effort included 204 loads hauled Sunday to CDOT landfills at No Name (MP 119) and Dotsero (MP 133). Another landfill site is located along a front road section of Colorado Highway 82 across from Aspen Glen.
“On the east side of Glenwood Canyon (from the Hanging Lake tunnel to the Bair Ranch area) crews continued to work on loading the trucks,” CDOT said in the statement. On Sunday, another 110 loads were pulled from this side of the canyon.
“Crews cleared the rest of the debris from the eastbound lanes at MP 124.3, which is an important area to assess to determine what is needed to safely reopen I-70.”
“Work will resume (Tuesday) with crews cleaning the drains and downspouts, and washing the roads,” CDOT said. “The priority will be to continue to clean all of the tunnel slides from Hanging Lake to Bair Ranch on the eastbound lanes, where there is still a lot of debris.”
On the west side of Glenwood Canyon, closest to Glenwood Springs, 94 loads were hauled on Sunday.
“The crews were able to completely uncover the rest of the debris in the blown area at MP 123.5 (Blue Gulch) eastbound, so that CDOT inspections and CDOT engineering teams could get a better assessment of the damage.” , CDOT said of the area. shown in the photos. “This is one of the most critical areas for the inspection / engineering team to inspect for potential damage now that the debris is cleaned up so that a visual inspection can take place. “
The affected area on the east side is about 120 feet wide on the north side / passing lane and tapers to about 70 feet on the south side / taxiway, according to the release.
“The crews will continue to excavate the mud from the debris to the original level / solid ground on Monday,” the CDOT explained. “The eastbound lanes have been cleared up to MP 123.5 with cleaned rocks. Also on the west side of the canyon, crews were able to remove a large boulder. “
Priorities for Monday include continued cleanup at 123.5 MP. Smaller areas still need to be cleared east and west in this section, and all eastbound, from Hanging Lake Tunnel to Bair Ranch.
“The engineering team will perform inspections, with better access now that the teams have been able to remove more debris,” the statement said.
I-70 continues to be closed to through traffic at Exit 87 (West Rifle, with a local traffic bypass on Hwy 6). The detour crosses traffic to Colorado Highway 13 to US 40 at Craig, eastbound to Colorado Highway 9 south to I-70 at Silverthorne. Traffic control at detour points is now managed by a contractor, CDOT said.
CDOT and sub-contractor teams jointly manage Exit 116 at Glenwood Springs, and CDOT continues to occupy both sides of Colorado Highway 82 on Independence Pass until a sub-contractor can mobilize more than signalers.