Mudslides causing issues on Colorado highways

July 7, 2021

Tyson Fisher

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Anyone driving through Colorado should check road conditions before leaving as mudslides are shutting down highways across the state.

Wet weather has been causing problems on Colorado highways lately. Over the holiday weekend, Interstate 70 near Glenwood Canyon was shut down in both directions between Dotsero and Rifle. The highway has since reopened.

However, the Colorado Department of Transportation is still reporting that rest areas along I-70 in Glenwood Canyon remain closed due to high risk of mudslides.

According to CDOT, the closure affects the Shoshone Power Plant along with the Grizzly Creek rest area due to weather forecasts calling for rainfall above the Grizzly Creek Fire burn scar, increasing the risk of more mudslides. Additionally, no bicycles are allowed on the interstate in Glenwood Canyon.

CDOT is also alerting motorists that there is no stopping along State Route 125 due to falling debris. Additionally, the department is advising drivers to watch for muddy spots along U.S. 285. On the morning of Wednesday, July 7, CDOT reopened U.S. 285 after it shut down for nearly 12 hours. Mudslides had buried the road, making it impassable. Several vehicles, including at least one truck, were stuck in the mud and debris.

The Glenwood Canyon portion of I-70 is no stranger to natural disaster. Last August, one of the largest wildfires in state history, the Grizzly Creek Fire, shut down a section of I-70 in the area. The closure from mile marker 116 to mile marker 140 lasted two weeks. In fact, the burn scar caused by the Grizzly Creek Fire is why Glenwood Canyon is now more vulnerable to mudslides.

Colorado DOT crews clear mudflow from Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon. (Photo courtesy CDOT))
Colorado DOT crews clear mudflow from Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon. (Photo courtesy CDOT))

 

Although CDOT is advising motorists to stay alert, there is some relief up ahead. According to the National Weather Service, the weather forecast for the Glenwood Canyon area is mostly sunny and in the 90s for the rest of the week, with only a 10% chance of precipitation on Friday.

For up-to-date traffic info, visit COTrip.org. LL

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.