CDOT tells travelers to stay off I-70 through mountains
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The Colorado Department of Transportation is advising travelers to avoid Interstate 70 in the mountains Thursday due to a natural avalanche and continued avalanche mitigation work.
The cleanup efforts for the avalanches near Vail and Copper Mountain, and avalanche mitigation near the Eisenhower and Johnson tunnels, will likely take much of the day.
“We’re going to have a pretty challenging day again on I-70,” CDOT spokesperson Tracy Trulove said Thursday morning.
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As of midmorning, both directions of I-70 were closed between Vail and Copper Mountain due to a natural slide that occurred at about 1:45 a.m., bringing down about 6 feet of snow over the westbound lanes, Trulove said.
No one was injured in that slide, though a tow truck did get trapped and had to be towed out.
After shutting down I-70 for that slide, avalanche mitigation teams began setting charges at about 7:45 a.m., and brought down a significant amount of snow, at least 15 feet deep on the interstate at some places, that will have to be cleaned up.
CDOT also has closed I-70 between Silverthorne and U.S. Highway 40 Empire Junction due to avalanche work near the tunnels.
Beyond the interstate, CDOT has closed U.S. Highway 24 between I-70 and Leadville, and U.S. Highway 91 between Leadville and Copper Mountain due to adverse conditions. U.S. Highway 6 over Loveland Pass is also closed.
There was no estimated time for reopening for any of the highways as of midday. CDOT’s Trulove said reopening I-70 at Vail is “looking like closer to a 6-hour cleanup.”
Travel throughout those mountain areas is “strongly discouraged,” CDOT said in a travel alert.
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