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Polis announces I-70 through Glenwood Canyon to reopen on Saturday

August 11, 2021, 11:57 am

The office of Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday issued the following press release announcing the reopening of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon on Saturday after a lengthy closure due to mud and rockslides in the Grizzly Creek Fire burn area:

Governor Polis and Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Shoshana Lew observed the extensive damage and around the clock repair and debris clearing efforts performed by CDOT. Governor Polis and Director Lew announced that Glenwood Canyon would reopen Saturday afternoon. 

“Clearing and ultimately re-opening the I-70 corridor through Glenwood Springs is our top transportation priority. This corridor plays a vital role in our state’s economy and for many Coloradans traveling to get to work, school, and homes along the western slope. CDOT and State Emergency Operations have made tremendous progress in cleaning up and removing tons of mud and debris that have completely blocked off access to this roadway,” said Governor Polis. “As the state recovers from this incident and reopens this corridor Saturday afternoon, we will continue to need strong federal partners in the Biden administration and our federal delegation.”

Governor Jared Polis visited the I-70 corridor in Glenwood Canyon to survey the damage caused by devastating mudslides in the surrounding area as well as view progress made to clean up and reopen the canyon route. 

Governor Polis was joined by Shoshana Lew, Director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, and state officials. The Governor thanks the state’s Public Safety team, the federal delegation, including Senators Hickenlooper and Bennet as well as partners at the US Department of Transportation and Federal Highways for their efforts. 

There is extensive work to be accomplished over the next four days that includes completing material removal at westbound Milepost 123.5 and the state commends Xcel for speeding up the extensive work they need to accomplish to hit this timeline. 

Since mudslides closed I-70 in Glenwood Canyon, Governor Polis has taken immediate action to provide additional resources to reopen the canyon and help mitigate future disasters. Governor Polis issued two state disaster declarations that authorized the use of the Colorado National Guard for traffic control, debris management, and unarmed law enforcement support. 

Additionally, Governor Polis requested federal funds to assist with the recovery efforts, which the Federal Highway Administration approved releasing $11.6 million to Colorado one day after the Polis administration made the request. 

CDOT crews have removed thousands of tons of debris from the canyon.

The Governor’s disaster declaration also activates the State’s Emergency Operations Plan and directs State agencies to coordinate their response while also providing additional funds to respond to the damage and repairs needed in areas affected by burn scar, flooding and slides. 

Coloradans can find the latest updates and information on alternative routes at  www.codot.gov/travel/glenwoodcanyon.

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