CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – All lanes of Interstate 70 were reopened after being closed Thursday for emergency rockfall mitigation.

“If we do not take care of this we are jeopardizing the safety of drivers. That’s why we have to do these emergency closures, make sure that the people who are driving through the area are safe,” said Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Emily Wilfong.

READ MORE: Colorado Senators Pass COVID Relief Bill As State GOP Leaders Blast Passage

The Colorado Department of Transportation performed emergency rockfall mitigation in the westbound lanes of I-70 just west of Floyd Hill. CDOT told CBS4 that the work would close the highway for much of the day. Eastbound lanes reopened about 4 p.m. and westbound lanes reopened at 5:15 p.m. Thursday.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The closures caused major traffic delays along I-70. At the twin tunnels, traffic was backed up for miles, causing frustrations for drivers.

“Now we’re worried about water, food, bathroom, especially with all the kids,” said one driver.

READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: National Jewish Administers Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

The mitigation happened at mile marker 244, just west of Floyd Hill. Access to I-70 was restricted or completely closed during the course of the mitigation. The detour around the full closure is US 6 from Golden to near Black Hawk.

Emergency rockfall mitigation along I-70 (credit: CBS)

Emergency rockfall mitigation along I-70 (credit: CBS)

Crews pulled down two large boulders each about the size of a car. A small rock slide in the area last week alerted CDOT to the potential for more falling rocks.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

CDOT spokesman Tony DeVito described the project as critical to safety.

“We understand the impact this has on motorists and residents in the area and ask for patience,” he said in a prepared statement.

MORE NEWS: Police: Kyle Daugherty Drove Stolen Aston Martin To Dealership, Fraudulently Paid For Porsche
(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

To receive real time information on this work, visit cotrip.org, call 511 or download the CDOT mobile app.