The Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT) expects the closed 17-mile stretch of I-70 to be reopened this afternoon after crews finish the cleanup from a Monday morning rock slide.

One lane in each direction will be opened along the eastbound side of the highway, but with restrictions in place for commercial trucking. Upon the reopening, vehicles with loads longer than 14 ft. will not be allowed on the highway, which is the main thoroughfare between Dotsero and Glenwood Springs, according to Mindy Crane, spokesperson for CDOT.

Geologists worked through the day Wednesday to blast away a boulder some 900 ft. above the roadway that was deemed unsafe. According to CDOT, the geologists “were very satisfied with the [rock mitigation] work.” Because the blasting created a “clean break” in the rock, additional mitigation work will not be necessary.

CDOT crews will continue the cleanup this morning along with drainage and pavement repair work before the road reopens. The slide occurred just outside the Hanging Lake Tunnel, near mile marker 125.

Repairs on the westbound side of the highway, where a 20 ft. by 10 ft. crater sits in the middle of the roadway, will be undertaken by a private contractor, Crane said. That work will take longer and there is no estimate at this point on when it will be completed.