Drivers on Interstate 70 going through Glenwood Canyon on Thursday should expect 30 minute traffic holds because of helicopter work in the canyon.
On Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. traffic in both directions, eastbound and westbound, will experience holds lasting about 20 to 30 minutes, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The traffic holds are a safety precaution as crews install debris flow fencing and use helicopter operations to deliver construction materials and equipment into place along the canyon.
“The safety-critical operation is required to protect the traveling public on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon and is an important part of resiliency work in the canyon,” according to a news release.
If weather prevents helicopter operations, the work will be rescheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 16. As a safety measure Thursday, the Glenwood Canyon recreation path and rest areas will also be closed.
Scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms are expected in the canyon on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Skies will be mostly sunny, there’s a 40% chance for precipitation.
Dozens of drainage basins in the canyon were burned in the 2020 Grizzly Creek fire, which scorched more than 32,600 acres, or 51 square miles. Last summer, heavy downpours lasting as little as 15 minutes caused mudslides in multiple places, with some of them blanketing the highway in several feet of muck and rocks.
The ongoing project is a continuation of emergency repairs carried out through the winter and spring. Midwest Rockfall, Inc. is the contractor on the geohazard mitigation project and Lawrence Construction is the contractor on the continuation of repairs to I-70.