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Close call on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 

Major slide closes I-70 in western Colorado


 

 

Quote:
 All lanes are closed from Glenwood Springs east to the town of Dotsero. Up to 25,000 vehicles a day travel that section, CDOT spokeswoman Stacy Stegman said.

Officials haven't determined how long the highway will be closed, Stegman said. Because of the rugged terrain, the shortest detour is more than 200 miles long, around the mountainous Flat Tops Wilderness Area. 
post #2 of 44

Close call on I-70

My fiance and I were driving back to Grand Junction from Boulder last night and we missed this

www.aspentimes.com/article/20100308/NEWS/100309818/1077&ParentProfile=1058

by a few hours....eesh.  Good thing I don't have the stereo in my car that I had in high school
post #3 of 44
I'm just glad no one was hurt and that it's west of Summit Co.
post #4 of 44
 Holy Crap!
Like many Bears, tog and I drove through there on our way to and from Aspen. 
Not that it will stop me from driving that stretch of road....
post #5 of 44
It's a beautiful canyon and I've renamed it Frank Lloyd Wright canyon for all the right angled rocks. 
post #6 of 44
The highway itself is a FLW, as well.

It is absolutely gorgeous when the weather and time of day is right. I'm usually the driver but recently I had the pleasure of being a passenger and got to look all around.
post #7 of 44
The article mentions the shortest detour being up to US 40 and back, almost 200 miles. Why is the Cottonwood Pass road from Gypsum to Highway 82 not an option?
post #8 of 44
So, geologically speaking, didn't I miss this by a split second?
post #9 of 44
Happened out this way last fall and they still have a lot of work to do to get it open again.

rockslide01.jpg

http://www.wral.com/traffic/story/7103123/

That's why I always wear a helmet when driving to ski
post #10 of 44
I have a wedding to go to in Phoenix flying out of Denver next weekend.  Wondering if I'll be able to make it??? 
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrison Claystone View Post

The article mentions the shortest detour being up to US 40 and back, almost 200 miles. Why is the Cottonwood Pass road from Gypsum to Highway 82 not an option?

Cottonwood Pass is closed during winter, isn't it? ... duh, never mind, different one.

This is a huge deal, I'm thinking ... That doesn't look like it will reopen any time soon.
post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by guroo270 View Post

I have a wedding to go to in Phoenix flying out of Denver next weekend.  Wondering if I'll be able to make it??? 

Doubt you'll make it on I-70. There are other routes, but if they add a few hours to the trip, you might as well drive to Phoenix. Can you fly out of a Western Slope airport?
post #13 of 44
Mucho dinero que yo no tengo - or something. 
post #14 of 44
 Hope Weems can make it to Abasin for Mothers day weekend!
post #15 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by guroo270 View Post

My fiance and I were driving back to Grand Junction from Boulder last night and we missed this

www.aspentimes.com/article/20100308/NEWS/100309818/1077&ParentProfile=1058

by a few hours....eesh.  Good thing I don't have the stereo in my car that I had in high school

Reminds me of this bad boy that wasn't there in our lane for the morning drive to Telluride:








Wandering Boulders thread
post #16 of 44
cottonwood is closed in the winter
post #17 of 44
Thread Starter 
Sounds like they are drilling holes to dynamite the larger boulders so they can be removed and will open a lane or two when they can. The repairs will take a while.
post #18 of 44
The big difference with Glenwood Canyon vs those other slides is The road is elevated. The west bound lanes have a hole 10'x20' in them. The section of bridge will have to be replaced.
GlenwoodRockSlide3_680x480.jpg
22.jpg

Cottonwood Pass from Carbondale to Gypsum is open year round. It is a narrow dirt road that has a large section that is unmaintained during the winter. You could drive a snowmobile over it right now but no way a car would make it. In the spring I take the Jeep up there for some snow bashing.

Last I heard it will be a few days to get one eastbound lane open. They are going to try to get the east bound lanes clear and run just one lane for each direction while the bridge is replaced. Nothing like almost 20 miles of one lane on an interstate.
post #19 of 44
Hope they put in a bump sign, this deserves one. 

You can always tell when spring is coming in the mountains; buds on the trees, increased water flows, rock slides.
post #20 of 44
In Europe you see this construction where the roads are protected from avalanche.  Might be something to consider for rock slides in the USA. 

4318813-Part-of-the-avalanche-gallery-on-the-road-0.jpg

09_pict9515.jpg
post #21 of 44
I remember driving through that area in before the new elevated road. Tough road but beautiful I drove through that area around 1992? When the thing was under construction. (Thought to myself) surprised the tree huggers let them do it? Drove it after completion off and on the past 10 year. Not surprised this has happened and it will happen again. Interesting how far apart I70 and the main Railroad line are from each other in this area?
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by catskills View Post

In Europe you see this construction where the roads are protected from avalanche.  Might be something to consider for rock slides in the USA. 

4318813-Part-of-the-avalanche-gallery-on-the-road-0.jpg

09_pict9515.jpg

But you see, if we built our roads like that, we could only build it once and it would last forever.  Silly Europeans.
post #23 of 44
I-90 across the Cascades has a snow shed in 1 very high avi area.  Pre recession the plan was to add several more, this one has saved lots of closures.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/sets/72157608423904163/
post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

I-90 across the Cascades has a snow shed in 1 very high avi area.  Pre recession the plan was to add several more, this one has saved lots of closures.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/sets/72157608423904163/

Would a snow shed have helped here in Glenwood? Or would it have just been one more thing to have to fix?
post #25 of 44
Those Snoqualmie sheds have been there a long time by American standards, built in 1950.  They have stood up to many rock slides and avis and they keep on working.  Doubtless that if you drop a big enough rock on it and you would not want to be in there.  Two obvious trade offs: lots more expensive to build, loose a lot of the view.

Like its' Euro brothers, it is hell built for stout.  It is going to take a really big rock to be an issue.
post #26 of 44
Debate over the impact on the view in Glenwood Canyon delayed the construction of I-70 there for many years. If having a lid on the interstate in the canyon was an engineering requirement, it would still be a two lane road and I-70 would probably be over Cottonwood Pass. If that were the case, many people would probably take the scenic shortcut through the canyon anyway. I know I would. I think having the interstate in the canyon was probably a lesser of evils compromise. Even after this event, I suspect there would be a lot of resistance to putting a helmet on the road anywhere in the canyon, due to the impact on the view.
post #27 of 44
Snow slides are somewhat more predictable than rock slides and for those size rocks relatively less destructive. Protecting 20 miles of road from those size rocks would be at least 10-100 times more expensive than repairing the road and the inconvenience of closure. It would be far cheaper to search and destroy loose rocks similar to preemptive avalanche blasting. But if you thought avie control work was dangerous ....ay yi yi. My bet is rock slide control for those size rocks won't reduce enough damage to be worth it. There might be a few worth blowing to bits or building road gap jumps for.
post #28 of 44
Just curious, what is the proper reaction when you see rock slide, drive faster ? stop ? drive near the hill side, drive away from the hill side, or there is nothing you can do, just let it be.
post #29 of 44
I recently go to sit passenger through the canyons too, and I found myself looking up the mountain side.  I saw a BUNCH of avi control rock stoppers.  They were these green posts that hung from a line, I assume these posts are quite heavy, about 8 feet tall, cylindrical, and they are touching one another.  These looked like they would catch or stabilize rocks up to the size of smart car, nothing that could have the slightest affect on a semi-sized rock though. 
post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by RBC View Post

Just curious, what is the proper reaction when you see rock slide, drive faster ? stop ? drive near the hill side, drive away from the hill side, or there is nothing you can do, just let it be.
 

If you see it happening in front of you, stop and reverse as fast as is safe, and get the hell outta there.  On the side of you coming down, floor it and hope.  Behind you, floor it and get the hell outta there
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