Glenwood Canyon bike path closed due to high water on Colorado River

By Real Vail
June 7, 2011
One might be able to take a memorable and scenic ride along the Glenwood Canyon bike path right now—in a kayak. The Colorado Department of Transportation had opened the popular route in mid-April, as typical. And, as typical, crews had to close it temporarily on May 9 due to high water. That temporary closure has remained in place, with no estimation on a reopen date at this point.

“In the places where the water has receded, we know there is some damage—there are sections where the concrete has collapsed,” CDOT Maintenance Supervisor Steve Quick said. “When the water goes down, we'll assess any additional damage, make necessary repairs and ensure it's safe for travel before reopening it.”

According to CDOT estimates, the river's average peak at the Shoshone Power Plant (MP 123 just west of Hanging Lake Tunnel) is some 14,000 cfs. This morning, the flow measured 18,100 cfs. Along the path, water is up to the railing in places (about 48 inches high on the path) and through the path's 8-foot-high tunnel under I-70, the water reaches 6 feet.

CDOT closes the Glenwood Canyon Bike Path each winter, when winter maintenance activities on I-70 above can create unsafe conditions on the path. Nearly every spring, CDOT has to close the path temporarily due to high water.

For information on road conditions, the public may log on to or call 511 from anywhere in the state. To sign up for free e-mail and/or wireless updates to road conditions in any chosen area, go to CDOT's web site and choose the green phone icon in the upper right-hand corner.

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