Helicopter operations, traffic holds scheduled for I-70 in Glenwood Canyon on Nov. 30 - Dec. 2

November 24, 2021 - Northwestern Colorado - Work will not affect the Thanksgiving holiday weekend

GLENWOOD CANYON — The Colorado Department of Transportation will oversee necessary helicopter and rockfall removal operations along Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon on Tuesday, Nov. 30, Wednesday, Dec. 1 and Thursday, Dec. 2. Work will begin next week and will not take place during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The safety-critical operation is required to remove rocks and other material from rockfall fencing above and next to I-70. The material is from summer 2021 debris flows in the canyon. During the project, crews will also repair fencing and other rockfall prevention barriers damaged by the flows, including eight existing rockfall fences on the north slope in Glenwood Canyon. Work commencing next week is contingent on the weather forecast.

When the helicopter is airborne, traffic stops on I-70 will be required for eastbound and westbound traffic. These holds are expected to last 20-30 minutes, depending on the work taking place, before traffic is released. The hours of operation will be 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. and crews will be monitoring traffic impacts. Midwest Rockfall, Inc. is the contractor on the rock fence repairs.

The work is the next step as CDOT continues to prepare I-70, the recreation path and other infrastructure in the canyon for potential debris flows and rockfall activity in spring 2022. The series of summer 2021 flows caused significant damage. Although crews have worked almost continuously since June to repair damage and remove material, there remains enough material in the canyon that spring flows and rockfall could cause more damage to the roadway and recreation path. In December, work to remove more material from the Colorado River next to I-70 will expand. That work will require lane closures.

Other repairs in the canyon

Crews are getting close to completing permanent emergency repairs on I-70 at Mile Point 123.5/Blue Gulch. Crews have completed necessary repairs to westbound lanes at that location and have fully reopened westbound traffic to two lanes. Eastbound lanes will remain in a one-lane configuration due to continued repairs on the concrete box culvert underneath the roadway at that location.

Anticipated Traffic Impacts

  • Single lane closures of the westbound lanes will take place Monday-Friday during working hours.
  • Eastbound and westbound traffic will occasionally have planned traffic stops lasting 20-30 minutes, from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
  • Eastbound lane closure in place 24-7.
  • Once river work begins, additional single lane closures will be necessary.
  • Stay Informed and Connect with the Project

Project information is available at:

Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts, anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

  • Road conditions and travel information: COtrip.org
  • Download the COtrip Planner app: bit.ly/3DYCDOH
  • Sign up for project or travel alerts: bit.ly/COalerts
  • Scheduled lane closures: bit.ly/3n9ZAI1
  • with @ColoradoDOT on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Remember: Slow For The Cone Zone

The following tips are to help you stay safe while traveling through maintenance and construction work zones.

  • Do not speed in work zones. Obey the posted speed limits.
  • Stay Alert! Expect the unexpected.
  • Watch for workers. Drive with caution.
  • Don't change lanes unnecessarily.
  • Avoid using mobile devices such as phones while driving in work zones.Turn on headlights so that workers and other drivers can see you.
  • Be especially alert at night while driving in work zones.
  • Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
  • Allow ample space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Anticipate lane shifts and merge when directed to do so.
  • Be patient!

About CDOT

CDOT’s Whole System-Whole Safety program has one simple mission — to get everyone home safely. Our approximately 3,000 employees work tirelessly to reduce the rate and severity of crashes and improve the safety of all modes of transportation. The department manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway, more than 3,000 bridges and 35 mountain passes. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also operates Bustang, the state-owned interregional express bus service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.