GLENWOOD CANYON, Colo (KREX)- I-70 is still closed to all traffic through Glenwood Canyon after last week’s mudslides. New video gives an up-close look at the damage.
There are parts of eastbound I-70 which CDOT describes as “completely gone”. However, significant progress has been made cleaning up the 8 to 10 feet of mud in some sections.
CDOT is now removing huge piles of boulders which came down on the road. As clean-up progresses, CDOT has no timeline for re-opening because there so much work still to be done.
“I would say it’ll take several weeks to maybe even months to get this section back to where it was,” CDOT’s Chuck Decker predicts.
It’s possible we could see some kind of temporary solution help get traffic flowing again but even that won’t be a quick fix and would take time to complete. The closure of the highway is not only a concern for Colorado, but the entire region.
So much so, the U.S Transportation Secretary says the federal government is ready to step in and help.
“We’re going to do everything we can to be supportive,” U.S Secretary Pete Buttigieg states, “Whenever you have a major roadway like that go out, also impacting rail. The disruption is immense and, again, it’s another reminder of how important it is to secure and improve our infrastructure for the future.”
Secretary Buttigieg also says the proposed infrastructure bill making its way through the U.S. Senate will significantly benefit Colorado and improve the state’s roads and bridges.
“The bipartisan infrastructure deal represents at least $3.7 billion in road funding for the state of Colorado alone,” Buttigieg continues, “As the I-70 shutdown is demonstrating, we count on our roads major ones and minor ones just as we count on bridges, ports, and airports, and everything else is part of our transportation infrastructure.”
Governor Jared Polis announced earlier this week he plans to ask the president for a federal disaster declaration for I-70, it would send even more money and resources to the state.
The declaration also authorizes the use of the Colorado National Guard for traffic control and debris removal.