Glenwood Canyon Closures May Continue Beyond 2021

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Source: The Denver Post

Date: July 2, 2021

This summer, two mudslides have covered the highway in Glenwood Canyon in Colorado, and geology and engineering experts say the danger could persist. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, closures on I-70 are to protect other travelers, not to prevent potential natural disasters. While this news may be frustrating for drivers, these preventative measures may prevent countless car accidents. 

According to The Denver Post, "Dozens of basins ravaged by last summer’s Grizzly Creek fire drain down toward Interstate 70, and all it takes is a short burst of intense rain in the right spot — a downpour lasting as little as 15 minutes — to send a soupy mix of sludge and rocks flowing onto the highway."

Glenwood Canyon mudslide

The canyon's steep terrain and hard-to-access high basins that were burned in last year's fire make it impossible to make improvements to the basins. If the terrain were gentler, crews could dig it out and perform necessary construction. 
 
According to The Denver Post, "It will take years in some areas for soil burned during the fire to sprout new ground cover and recover normal levels of water absorbancy. Other agencies have evaluated the burn area and begun making plans to help along that process, which can take longer in areas where fire burned the landscape more severely." Until this work can be done, mudslides are still a huge risk to the area and could cause life-threatening car accident and motor vehicle collisions. 

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