DENVER ― Highway safety closures are in place across Colorado due to active wildfires that continue to burn or are expanding near highways, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).
Wildfire conditions in Colorado are an active situation; fire conditions can change rapidly with closures at any time. Motorists should avoid fire areas and be prepared for new road conditions and delays. CDOT recommends that travelers “know before you go” by checking COtrip.org before traveling, having detour maps handy (see below) and packing emergency food, water and other supplies.
Reopening for all routes below will depend on wildfire activity in the coming days. Closures include:
- Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon is closed between mile point 116 (Glenwood Springs) and mile point 140 (Gypsum) due to the Grizzly Creek Fire. The closure began Monday, Aug. 10, when the Grizzly Creek Fire began burning along the interstate. There is no estimated time of opening I-70 in Glenwood Canyon. Click here for more information about the Grizzly Creek Fire.
- Colorado Highway 14 is closed from west of Cameron Pass and Walden (mile point 61) for eastbound traffic and at Rustic and County Road 69 (mile point 91) for westbound traffic due to the Cameron Peak Wildfire. See alternate routes below. Click here for more information about the Cameron Peak Fire.
- Colorado Highway 139 (Douglas Pass) is closed due to fire activity from the Pine Gulch Fire. The closure is north of Loma (Fruita/Grand Junction) and between mile point 6 and mile point 39. There is no anticipated time for reopening. Click here for more information about the Pine Gulch Fire.
The Williams Fork Fire in Grand County is burning near U.S. Highway 40 and Colorado Highway 9, north of I-70, but is not impacting state highways at this time. Click here for more information about the Williams Fork Fire.
CDOT urges drivers to take recommended detours (see maps below) and not rely on mapping apps, which may take motorists on forest roads and over mountain passes. Remote, rugged routes are not built for heavy traffic or for two-wheel drive vehicles.
CDOT recommends that travelers plan for delays when using detour routes and possible construction impacts on U.S. and state highways. Also check COtrip.org for the latest road conditions.
- I-70 through traffic: CDOT recommends a southern detour route due to construction on commonly used northern alternate routes. Drivers should anticipate additional traffic on these routes. CDOT has paused some construction projects to accommodate detour traffic. CDOT discourages travelers from using highways north of I-70 as a through route, due to construction zones (even if projects are paused during the closure).
- Westbound I-70: Denver metro area motorists can travel on U.S. 285 to U.S. 50; then continue west to Grand Junction. Travelers on I-70 can take Colorado Highway 9 to U.S. 285 south to U.S. 50, or follow Colorado Highway 91 southwest to U.S. 24 to U.S. 50.
- Eastbound I-70: Motorists traveling from Grand Junction can take U.S. 50 east to U.S. 285 and continue to Denver. Eastbound travelers on U.S. 50/285 may also use U.S. 24, Colorado Highway 91 or Colorado Highway 9 for destinations at or near Vail, Copper Mountain or Silverthorne.
- Independence Pass: Colorado Highway 82 between Aspen and U.S. 24 is open with limited access and alternating traffic, controlled by flagging personnel. Motorists are advised that only passenger vehicles, such as cars, SUVs and vans are allowed. No commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), camper trailers, recreational or similar vehicles are allowed. A 35-foot length restriction is in place. Motorists should expect slow speeds, lengthy travel times and potential delays of up to two hours if traveling over Independence Pass. Campers and recreational vehicles are strongly advised to seek alternate southern routes.
- CDOT asks that motorists not use Cottonwood Pass, Hagerman Pass, or other county or forest service roads in Eagle and Garfield counties as a detour. These roads are not built for heavy traffic or oversized commercial vehicles.
COLORADO HIGHWAY 14
CDOT recommends detouring north on U.S. 287 or Interstate 25 to Laramie, Wyoming, and then traveling on Wyoming Highway 230 to Walden, Colorado.
COLORADO HIGHWAY 139
CDOT recommends traveling on Colorado Highway 9 or Colorado Highway 131 to access U.S. 40, or to travel in reverse from northwest Colorado to points south, or follow the recommended detour around the I-70 closure. CDOT advises commercial traffic to use Colorado Highway 9 instead of Colorado Highway 131 for safety purposes. Please note that while Colorado Highway 13 is open at this time, it is not a recommended detour due to construction; oversize commercial vehicles are not allowed on Colorado Highway 13 due to construction restrictions.
(Maps courtesy: Colorado DOT)
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