Glenwood Canyon could shut down again because of weather

August 18, 2021

Tyson Fisher


Although Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon in Colorado is open to traffic, motorists should beware of possible temporary safety closures.

The Colorado Department of Transportation opened I-70 in Glenwood Canyon on Aug. 14 after a three-week closure. However, CDOT is now warning motorists of intermittent closures on the same stretch of highway ahead of rainy weather.

On Tuesday evening, CDOT issued a travel alert for I-70 in Glenwood Canyon. Specifically, the alert is in reference to possible showers and storms in western Colorado on Wednesday, Aug. 18. If at any time a flash flood warning is in effect, CDOT will close Glenwood Canyon for safety. CDOT advises all drivers to check before leaving for a trip through the area.

As of Wednesday morning, officials expect a flash flood watch for the Grizzly Creek burn scar area on Wednesday.

In the event that turns into a warning, I-70 in Glenwood Canyon from Exit 133 in Dotsero to Exit 166 in Glenwood Springs will go into a safety closure.

Once the safety closure is in place, motorists can seek the northern detour via Steamboat Springs. Drivers can also wait out the flash flood warning. However, motorists who decide to wait out the closure must wait at a location off I-70. Drivers cannot wait on the roadway. If a debris flow or mudslide occurs during the warning, I-70 will close for a longer period of time.

In a video published on Saturday morning, CDOT Deputy Chief Engineer Keith Stefanik said that I-70 will be two lanes in each direction throughout the majority of Glenwood Canyon. However, there is one section with one lane in each direction. From the east side, a single lane begins at mile marker 123.5 for about 1.5 miles. A single lane on the west side is about half a mile in length. According to Stefanik, state officials hope to fully reopen the interstate by Thanksgiving.

Additionally, the speed limit through Glenwood Canyon is down to 35 mph as motorists familiarize themselves with the changes. LL