Officials hope to have one lane of traffic flowing each direction on eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 by late Thursday after crews successfully removed an unstable boulder from the side of Glenwood Canyon.
The 20-foot boulder had hindered road clearing and repair to the 17-mile stretch of road between Dotsero and Glenwood Springs that was damaged and closed after a massive rockslide early Monday morning.
A gaping hole, 20 feet by 10 feet, is only of one of the many repairs to be undertaken on the westbound lanes before they can be reopened, and there is no time frame for when the damage might be fully repaired.
Until at least one lane is reopened, traffic has been forced to detour to U.S. Highway 40 or U.S. Highway 50, which add 200 miles to the trip.
The Denver Post reported Wednesday that Karen Lynn Evanoff, 55, was killed on the U.S. Highway 40 detour Wednesday morning when a melon-sized rock hit the car she was in while she was commuting to work. Evanoff was riding as a passenger, and the driver, who was not named, was uninjured.
A CDOT crew, complete with geologist, was dispatched to try and locate where the rock dislodged and to ensure that more incidents do not occur.
Junior environmental health major Elle Stark lives and works in Aspen, and her direct path home is through I-70.
â€œMy tripâ€™s going to be almost doubled if that road is closed,â€ Stark said of her plans to travel home for Spring Break. More than anything, she said, the road closure is inconvenient.
â€œIâ€™m driving anyways,â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s just going to take a lot longer.â€
Staff writer Sara Michael can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.