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. This is after boulders the size of small cars crashed onto the roadway. Workers were still finding large amounts of loose rock days after the initial slide.
 
The slide happened Feb. 15 on Interstate 70. The site is about 125 miles east of the Utah border. It damaged a tractor-trailer but caused no injuries. The highway was shut down in both directions, from Glenwood Springs in the west to Gypsum in the east. That forced 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 advised travelers to check the transportation department website for proper routes. There were reports that some drivers used maps and GPS devices to find their own way around the slide. Some motorists ended up on 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. He 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. The holes closed the canyon for nearly four days. That caused 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. It critically injured 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. When that happens, 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 (7)
  • tylerl-ver
    3/08/2016 - 04:20 p.m.

    Cars travel in miles per hour and they can only go so fast. This is why it takes longer to travel a detour and why it is measured in hours.

  • marisola-Orv
    3/09/2016 - 07:00 p.m.

    The people who were there are lucky to not have been injured.But unlucky because food supplies were cut short.Finally they fixed the highway hopefully there will not be any other accidents.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    3/09/2016 - 10:16 p.m.

    The rock slides might have affected the way that people would be traveling which the canyon had been a faster way to other places but the detour route had be taking more time to get to other states on the Utah border. The people that wanted to travel across the Utah border might have affected the way that people would need to take on the detour route that the travelers would need to take. The rock slide would have affected the way that the traveler would need to take which people would be taking much longer after the rock slide had happened on one of the highway. People might have not liked the detour route that they need to take after the rock slide had happened on one of the highway out of the Utah border which liked best.
    Critical Thinking Question: Why are detours measured in hours?
    Answer: Because detours would be a safer and longer route for people to take which people would have to take instead the regular highway.

  • rachaels-ver
    3/11/2016 - 12:46 a.m.

    I liked this article, I thought it gave some insight on the landslide issues going on in our country. I think there should be more carrers and money going towards this to prevent injury and the slide itself.

  • ben0424-yyca-byo
    3/16/2016 - 09:12 p.m.

    I think that this is interesting. I have only been in traffic on a highway about 1 to 2 times. It has been lucky for all the people to survive and not be hurt. I hope this doesn't happen again, but if it does, I hope no one get's hurt.

  • juliad-ver
    3/18/2016 - 10:08 a.m.

    Food supplies was cut off because the trucks couldn't get threw the traffic. This has happened before throughout years. The government spends 8.5 million dollars a year to make sure this doesn't happen but they can't prevent it forever.

  • tylerd-kut
    3/23/2016 - 06:34 p.m.

    How is no one hurt?

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