Glenwood Canyon closure may bring more traffic

RBC I The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has announced that an Interstate 70 closure on Wednesday night and today through Glenwood Canyon for safety critical rockfall work and helicopter operations associated with the rockfall mitigation project just west of the Hanging Lake Tunnel may bring an increase in traffic to Craig and Meeker.

Today there will be a daytime closure in the Glenwood Canyon from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The eastbound closure point starts at Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) and the westbound closure point starts at Exit 133 (Doterso). All vehicles must exit, and queuing will not be allowed. The Colorado State Patrol will assist with traffic mitigation.
“Weather permitting, crews will utilize a military-style helicopter to deliver 13 steel posts erecting protective fencing,” says Mike Fowler, project engineer. “The full canyon closures are necessary because of the safety considerations when the UH-1 military-style helicopter maneuvers and sets steel posts.”
CDOT urges motorists to plan ahead during this time.
“We suggest that travelers plan ahead and schedule to drive through the Glenwood Canyon before 9 a.m. or wait until the canyon is reopened at 3:30 p.m.,” Tracy Trulove, CDOT Region 3 communications manager said. “Motorists should anticipate heavy traffic before and after the closures from vehicle congestion at the beginning and end points of the closures.”
For alternative routes, westbound traffic should travel CO 131 at Wolcott to Steamboat Springs, west on US 40 to Craig, then south on CO 13 to Meeker then Rifle and back to I-70. This is a 203-mile alternate route that will take about three hours and 50 minutes to travel. This detour adds 146 miles and about three hours to a regular trip from Wolcott to Rifle on I-70, which is 67 miles or about 45 minutes.
Headed east from Rifle would require drivers to reverse the above instructions to Wolcott.