Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) officials said they are on schedule to open all lanes in Glenwood Canyon the first week of May and the highway shouldn’t fully shut down again in the meantime.
CDOT held a press conference Wednesday with high ranking officials to discuss current mitigation efforts in Glenwood Canyon. CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt made it clear that there is no way to completely prevent rock slides on this stretch of I-70, but the department is aware of how vital this route is.
“This is not our first rockslide and this won’t be our last rockslide that we have to deal with,” Bhatt said. “But we are very very aware of how important I-70 is for this community, for communities along I-70, for the state and even nationally. It’s not something that we take lightly.”
Since the Feb. 15 slide happened in an area CDOT did not mark as active, the agency wants to reevaluate the geohazards in the canyon. But now that the dust has settled, CDOT wants to find a way to predict rockslides before they happen and to have faster alternative routes if they do.
They are also considering doing some permanent mitigation work at the rockfall site this summer, which would close one lane in the westbound direction. As for alternate routes, CDOT is considering Cottonwood Pass as an option. If that idea comes to fruition, Bhatt says it would not be developed for at least five years.