GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– A stretch of Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon reopened Wednesday afternoon after it was closed earlier in the day due to Flash Flood threats. The safety closure was put in place by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

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No new mudslides were detected and the lanes were deemed safe to reopen to traffic. The Flash Flood Watch is in place for the area through 6 p.m. During the Flash Flood Watch, maintenance crews will be stationed at the two closure points along I-70, at mile marker 133, Dotsero and mile marker 116, Glenwood Springs. This allows for the quick closure of I-70 if conditions worsen.

I-70 was closed on Wednesday morning just before 9 a.m. eastbound between mile marker 87 and 133, West Rifle and Dotsero, also westbound 133 to 116 Dotsero to Glenwood Springs, due to a flash flood warning with debris flow or mudslide.

The overnight closure of eastbound I-70 through Glenwood Canyon for emergency repairs has been canceled for Wednesday night into Thursday morning. The closure has been moved to Friday and Sunday overnight, Oct. 1 and 3, weather permitting.

CDOT earlier stated that crews will continue to assess the burn scar area and will determine if it is safe to reopen when the Flash Flood Warning is lifted. If there is a new mudslide or a significant amount of the mudslide blocks the interstate, the closure may be extended past the Flash Flood Warning being lifted.

Alternate route for drivers:

  • 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.

Several mud and debris flows in Glenwood Canyon have happened during heavy rainstorms this past summer, but none were as destructive as the ones at the end of July. The mudslides are a result of the Grizzly Creek Fire, which burned up and down the canyon walls in 2020.

(credit: RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The interstate was fully closed for the first half of August and the limited reopening has traffic traveling on one lane in each direction. Full repairs to I-70 through Glenwood Canyon are not expected to be completed until Thanksgiving.

LINK: COTrip.org

Jennifer McRae