GRAND JUNCTION, Colo — The race to get I-70 through Glenwood Canyon back open is on full acceleration.
Since August, CDOT and a Colorado-based contractor have been working tirelessly to repair the hardest-hit areas of the interstate, particularly near Blue Gulch.
Tracy Trulove with CDOT, says, “at 123.5 they have a plan. We are working on a plan for debris removal shoring up the damaged areas so we can start repairs to the retaining walls and again repairing that concrete box culvert.”
In just that one area, a crew of about 10 to 15 workers are on the grounds.
Mike Goolsby with CDOT, says, “they have a larger crew working throughout the canyon. That number has been drastically reduced since we got the debris flows on the interstates cleaned up. Our maintenance folks have kind of stepped back and the contractors have taken over of just the repairs of the interstate.”
In a span of just three weeks, CDOT officials say tremendous progress has been made, but there’s still more work on the way.
Trulove also says, “the work that’s coming still is we’re going to be putting in what are called shoring towers and that is to hold up some of the damaged infrastructure so that again they can kind of see and start repairing the retaining walls that have had damage.”
Those damages come with a price tag of $6.1 million dollars, which accounts for just a portion of the project.
The total cost could be in the range of $20 million dollars.
No matter the cost of repairs, the question remains what is being done to mitigate future damage to the interstate?
Goolsby also says, “there some mitigations that we have identified along with the forest service and we’re in that process right now of trying to identify those spots where we can get the most bang for our buck as far as trying to put in some mitigations to prevent this from happening.”