It’s ‘Rockslide Season’ in Colorado
Rockslides will be more common in the next couple of months.
A rock slide just east of Grand Junction shut down a stretch of I-70 Sunday. About 11:45 AM several boulders came down at the 57-mile marker in DeBeque Canyon forcing the closure of the interstate in both directions. The rocks struck a car traveling through the canyon injuring two women. I-70 has since reopened.
The Colorado Department of Transportation will be on the site today doing mitigation work cleaning up after the slide that still has the eastbound lane of I-70 closed. I was driving back through Sunday evening and traffic on the eastbound side was backed up for several miles. Traffic is being detoured onto highway 65 and then onto 45 1/2 road before rentering onto I-70 in DeBeque.
It's the same thing every spring in Colorado. Along with warmer weather comes increased risks of rockslides. This year is predicted to be worse than most with all the rain and snow from this year's extra-wet winter. The water runoff loosens the rock and all it takes is one loose boulder rolling down to trigger an all-out slide.
CDOT is back at work on a rockslide mitigation project in Glenwood Canyon. That work will include cleaning out rocks along catch fences and patching spots in older parts of the fences. If you're heading to Denver, expect delays along I-70 for the next several weeks. Glenwood Canyon is just one spot in Colorado where the risk of a rockslide is high. There are dangerous slide zones all across the Rocky Mountains along the roads that cut through them.
Keep out a watchful eye while traveling along these high-risk zones. If your car is struck, call 911 and stay in your car. It's safer in your car than standing outside. More rocks could be on their way down.
Credit: The Aspen Times