I-70 will be open Wednesday between Empire and Silverthorne, but expect delays
April 5, 2011
The Colorado Department of Transportation completed Tuesday’s rock mitigation work and has reopened I-70 at Georgetown Hill, allowing through traffic to travel I-70 between Empire Junction (U.S. 40) and Silverthorne, according to the agency.
CDOT crews were able to remove all of the rocks and boulders that were considered an immediate threat to come loose and fall onto Interstate 70. However, a number of large boulders remain on the slope and warrant further examination in the future, CDOT officials said.
Engineers will be exploring an anchor system to further stabilize the remaining boulders if a solid anchoring area is available. CDOT then will design this anchor system in the next couple of weeks.
If, however, a solid section of slope is not available at this site for anchoring, another lengthy closure of I-70 may be necessary in the near future to bring down these remaining boulders.
In addition, a lower rockfall net needs to be installed as a rock damaged the existing one. That work will take place over the next couple of weeks, requiring additional lane closure and traffic stops.
On Wednesday, April 6, the highway will be open, CDOT officials said. However, traffic stops up to 20 minutes, from 10:30 a.m. until dark, can be expected as remaining clean-up work takes place.
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Traffic remained light Tuesday on I-70 between Denver and Empire Junction and on eastbound I-70 to Silverthorne. The detour route via Berthoud Pass (U.S. 40 and State Highway 9) has moved well, CDOT officials said.
Traffic also moved smoothly today on the southern detour route via U.S. 285 and State Highway 9. Hoosier Pass was blocked earlier by a semi accident but it has been cleared and Highway 9 is open to traffic.