Traffic has been rerouted to U.S. 23, 285 and 50 since the closure of I-70 Tuesday in both directions from milemarkers 109-140 between Glenwood Springs and Gypsum due to the Grizzly Creek fire.
CDOT District 5 Area Maintenance Supervisor, Tyler Carlson said,“All our highways in Chaffee County, U.S. 24, U.S. 285, and U.S. 50, are seeing increased traffic, for sure, very similar to our busy weekend travel volumes."
“We have altered the timing of the traffic light signals in the area to accommodate the increased flow and prevent potential vehicle backups and congestion. We have also deployed our electronic highway signs with messaging to help travelers figure out the alternate routes away from I-70," he said.
Motorists are asked to not use Cottonwood Pass connecting Eagle and Garfield counties (not the route connecting Chaffee and Gunnison Counties).
CDOT closed Colo. 82 over Independence Pass Wednesday due to heavy traffic and safety concerns.
The eastbound closure point is a few miles east of Aspen at milemarker 47 and westbound is closed at milemarker 68.1, several miles west of Twin Lakes and the intersection of U.S. 24. The stretch of highway will remain closed until further notice.
Colorado Department of Transportation includes these routes as alternatives to I-70:
• Westbound on U.S. 285: Travel on U.S. 285 to U.S. 50, and continue west to Grand Junction.
• Westbound on I-70: Use Colo. 9 to U.S. 285 south to U.S. 50, or use Colo. 91 southwest to U.S. 24 to U.S. 50. Motorists can also take U.S. 24 from I-70 to U.S. 285 to connect with U.S. 50.
• Travel to Grand Junction: Use U.S. 50 east to U.S. 285.
Travelers are advised that delays are likely on these routes, as they do not normally carry traffic volumes as heavy as I-70 a press release stated.
A press release from Upper Colorado Interagency Fire and Aviation Unit stated there is no estimated time for the reopening of I-70.
As of Wednesday morning the Grizzly Creek Fire fire had burned 3,351 acres and was zero percent contained.
Tuesday the fire crossed I-70 and the Colorado River, establishing itself on the south side of the canyon.
For travel updates visit cotrip.com
For fire updates visit inciweb.nwcg.gov.