The Longest I-70 Closure in Colorado’s History Almost Over
Until now it has been anyone's guess as far as how long I-70 would have to remain closed in the Glenwood Canyon due to the Grizzly Creek Fire. But we are finding out from The Aspen Times that the Colorado Department of Transportation is saying that the road should be ready to reopen in just days not weeks.
The stretch of about 24 miles has been shut down for more than a week as the Grizzly Creek Fire continued to burn, but progress is being made and the road should be open again soon. But this is the longest I-70 closures in Colorado history.
The Grizzly Creek Fire has grown to over 29,732 acres and at the last report is only 4% contained. But the fire is no longer burning in an area that would make it dangerous for drivers who would be traveling along I-70. It was a huge step in the right direction when CDOT got to reopen their Hanging Lake Tunnel Operations Center on Wednesday.
There are still challenges ahead such as ongoing firefighting efforts and the potential for rockfalls and or debris slides. Currently on the closed sections of I-70 is where most firefighters have been able to set up staging areas and once it is safe they will be moving those stage areas from the roadway. Also, ongoing air attack efforts would have to calm down as well. All 40 bridges in the Glenwood Canyon region will need to be inspected for safety but that process has already begun.
With the potential for more rockslides, falling debris, and possible avalanches higher due to the fire CDOT will be keeping a close eye on this area moving forward to minimize as much risk as possible for the public.