Relief in sight: I-70 partially reopening this weekend | Hours exemptions granted in parts of Colorado

Updated Aug 23, 2021

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021:

I-70 in Colorado set to partially reopen this weekend

Colorado DOT plans to partially reopen I-70 in Glenwood Canyon beginning Saturday, Aug. 14.Colorado DOT plans to partially reopen I-70 in Glenwood Canyon beginning Saturday, Aug. 14.Colorado DOTThe Colorado Department of Transportation said the portion of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon will partially reopen the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 14.

CDOT crews have worked around the clock to remove thousands of tons of debris that landed on the critical freight route following heavy rains July 31. CDOT said it expects at least one lane in each direction will be open to traffic Saturday afternoon.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew visited the site of the mudslide Wednesday to survey the damage there and in the surrounding area, as well as view progress made to clean up and reopen the canyon route.

"There is still extensive work to be accomplished over the next four days that includes completing material removal at westbound Mile Point 123.5," CDOT said. 

The state has declared this portion of I-70 a disaster area and has requested $116 million from the federal Department of Transportation. The state asked for 10% of that amount to be sent as soon as possible.

Truckers are still cautioned to take I-80 through Wyoming to I-40 through New Mexico to avoid the closed section of I-70.

HOS regs waived for fuel haulers in some Colorado counties

As a result of the I-70 closure and other burn scar flooding, mudslides and rockslides in Garfield, Larimer, Eagle, Grand, Routt, Rio Blanco, and Pitkin counties in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis has declared a state of emergency, suspending hours of service regulations (49 CFR Part 395) for certain truck drivers in the affected counties.

The declaration suspends HOS regs for haulers of gasoline, diesel, aviation fuels, propane, natural gas and other home heating fuels, medical supplies, sanitation, food, paper products, other groceries, and supplies or equipment necessary for community safety.

The order is effective through Sept. 3.

Colorado joins a growing list of states with hours of service waivers in place due to emergency declaration. Montana, Oregon, Idaho, California, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington state, and Wyoming also have waivers in place for certain haulers. A full list of emergency declarations can be found on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.

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