Rock slide closes highway In this Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, photo provided by the Colorado Department of Transportation, state highway workers examine debris from a rock slide on Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon in western Colorado. (Tracy Trulove/Colorado Department of Transportation via AP)
Rock slide closes highway
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Traffic on a stretch of a key east-west highway in Colorado won't be back to normal for weeks after boulders the size of small cars crashed onto the roadway, according to officials who added that workers were still finding large amounts of loose rock days after the initial slide.
 
The slide happened Feb. 15 on Interstate 70 about 125 miles east of the Utah border. It damaged a tractor-trailer but caused no injuries. The highway was shut in both directions from Glenwood Springs in the west to Gypsum in the east, forcing travelers to take detours of up to four hours. The four-lane stretch carries a daily average of 300 vehicles per hour through the canyon, Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Amy Ford said.
 
Ford said travelers should check the transportation department website for proper routes after reports that some drivers used maps and GPS devices to find their own way around the slide and ended up in mountain passes usually closed during the winter.
 
Hundreds of cars and several tractor-trailers lined up at a gate closing one of those passes, the Post Independent newspaper in Glenwood Springs reported.
 
Pitkin County sheriff's Deputy Marcin Debski directed traffic at Independence Pass in Aspen and said he had "never seen anything like it."
 
Tumbling rocks have closed the stretch of I-70 several times in the past. A 2010 rock slide tore gaping holes in an elevated section of the road, closing the canyon for nearly four days and causing food shortages because delivery trucks were not able to reach restaurants and grocery stores.
 
In 2004, more than three dozen boulders landed on the highway. A slide in 1995 killed three people, and a boulder crashed onto a pickup truck in 1985, critically injuring a 5-year-old boy.
 
The CDOT said the Glenwood canyon is among 750 areas prone to slides that it closely monitors. Slides are particularly common when cold periods are followed by warm spells and ice begins to melt.
 
The state spends some $8.5 million dollars a year on work to prevent and respond to rock falls across Colorado, CDOT officials said.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why are detours measured in hours?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (29)
  • travond-fel
    3/23/2016 - 02:19 p.m.

    because you normally go slower on detours

  • mattv-fel
    3/23/2016 - 02:19 p.m.

    Detours could be measured in hours due to there possibly being multiple detours? Or it might have to do with the speed of the vehicles?

  • lucasp-fel
    3/23/2016 - 02:20 p.m.

    they are measured in hours because it usually takes a long time to get around them

  • coled-fel
    3/23/2016 - 02:22 p.m.

    CTQ: Detours are measured in hours because detours are usually an alternate route to get to a destination, they take longer to get through than main roads.

  • jacih-fel
    3/23/2016 - 02:22 p.m.

    The four-lane stretch carries a daily average of 300 vehicles per hour through the canyon.

  • victoriae-fel
    3/23/2016 - 02:23 p.m.

    Detours are measured in hours because it takes different times for different people so they just averaged it to an hour.

  • johnj-fel
    3/23/2016 - 02:23 p.m.

    Detours are measured in hours because thats the best overall measurement to use for it and because there is no other real, good measurement to use.

  • elizabetht-fel
    3/23/2016 - 02:23 p.m.

    Detours are measured in hours to determine how much longer it should take for someone to get somewhere, so that they could leave earlier than they would usually have to.

  • haleyd1-fel
    3/23/2016 - 02:23 p.m.

    So they can measure how many cars pass through with the detour.

  • austina-fel
    3/23/2016 - 02:26 p.m.

    Detours are measured in hours because there is no possible way to estimate the exact amount of time because of the traffic.

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