Why Parts of 1-70 Will Stay Closed for a While

March 2010

When we last checked in on I-70, lawmakers were debating the merits of "zipper lanes," which could speed up the weekend rush from many ski resorts back to the Denver area. Now, you can't take I-70 from some resorts on any kind of lane. As of yesterday morning, the highway is closed between Dotsero and Glenwood Springs in both directions after a massive rockslide, including a boulder estimated to weigh 66 tons. Officials say the road won’t reopen "any time soon," (via the Denver Business Journal). The rockslide caused dozens of holes and "dips" in the roadway, according to 9News, which points out that nobody, thankfully, was injured. Geologists for the Colorado Department of Transportation arrived late Monday afternoon to embark on a two-hour hike up a mountain to inspect a questionable area and ensure more boulders won't fall. If they're unstable, they'll have to be dealt with before major repairs begin. Governor Bill Ritter has issued a disaster declaration in an attempt to obtain federal funds for repairs. This isn't the first time the highway has shut down for a long stretch. In November 2004, a slide in the same area along I-70 resulted in a similar closure.