Upcoming rockfall mitigation to require full closure of I-70 at Fall River Road
IDAHO SPRINGS–The Colorado Department of Transportation will begin rockfall mitigation on I-70 at Fall River Road, just west of Idaho Springs, starting the week of May 8 through early June. Crews will be drilling the rockface Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to release air pockets and loosen rock to allow for a more productive blast. This will not require a lane closure and is safe for the traveling public to drive past.
Once a week, crews will need to blast the rockface to release loose rock which will require a 20 minute full closure of east and westbound I-70 from Fall River Road to Dumont to protect the safety of motorists and CDOT crews. There are no set days for blasting at this time as it is difficult to know when the rockface will be ready for detonation. When crews blast, however, they will be doing so between Monday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
CDOT is alerting the public that the full closure could result in 45-plus minute traffic delays. If there is an urgent need, crews may need to blast the rockface more than once a week for motorists’ safety.
CDOT will also need to close the frontage roads near the blasting site for additional safety precautions; these holds should only last 15 minutes or less.
Crews will know at least the night before when blasting will occur and variable message signs along the interstate will be changed to reflect the upcoming closures.
CDOT is conducting mitigation work in response to a minor rockslide that occurred on westbound I-70 at Fall River Road in early April. CDOT’s Geohazards team went out to inspect the slide and determined that mitigation work needs to be conducted to reduce the risk of a slide in the same area in the future.
Crews will not work the Friday before or the Monday after Memorial Day.
CDOT is reminding motorists to consult the department’s traveler information tools:
• Visit www.COTRIP.org to view road conditions, travel alerts and track our snow plows;
• Call 511 anywhere in Colorado for periodically updated road conditions;
• Sign up for GovDelivery alerts;
• Follow CDOT on Twitter and Facebook (though the latter will not provide the most up-to-date news and conditions).