Section of major east-west highway in Colorado closed due to rockslides

DENVER A stretch of interstate highway in western Colorado will remain mostly closed for weeks following two massive rockslides that left the roadway littered with debris and boulders the size of cars, transportation officials said on Wednesday.

No injuries were reported in the Monday slides, though three cars were damaged and motorists were forced to take a nearly 150 mile detour, the Colorado Department of Transportation said.

The four-lane section of Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon would remain completely closed to traffic until at least Thursday as crews worked to clear the fallen rocks and stabilize the slope, the transportation agency said in a news release.

Engineers expect to open a single lane of the east-west highway to alternating traffic later this week, resulting in delays of at least one hour passing through the six-mile stretch, it said.

It was too soon to estimate the cost of repairs, transportation officials said. The roadway was likely to be mostly closed for several weeks as repairs continued.

The average daily traffic for Glenwood Canyon, about 125 miles (200 km) east of the Utah border, is around 300 vehicles per hour, the transportation department said.

Interstate 70 runs more than 2,100 miles (3380 km) from Maryland to Utah.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Michael Perry)

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