Summit County: Two wrecks on slick roads require haz-mat cleanups
Updated 10 p.m. - Good news: Interstate 70 EASTBOUND is now open from Silverthorne/Dillon.
Bad news: WESTBOUND I-70 will remained closed until the cleanup of the tanker carrying the explosive gel is complete. At this point, it’s looking like the wee hours of the morning before that happens.
Additionally, intermittent closures of the eastbound lanes remain possible throughout the evening to ensure the safety of the public.
Latest update at 5:55 p.m. – Interstate 70 westbound from the Eisenhower Tunnel down to the Silverthorne/Dillon exit will remain closed for an estimated eight hours, until at least 1 a.m. The operation requires getting a tanker from Cheyenne to off-load the explosive gel. Loveland Pass (U.S. 6) will remain the alternate route.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado State Patrol haz-mat teams were busy Tuesday, as two tanker crashes caused road closures in Summit County.
Tuesday afternoon, a tanker truck spilled an estimated 1,000 pounds of a liquid blasting agent along I-70 between Silverthorne and the Eisenhower Tunnel, closing the road in both directions. Normally, the truck would have been routed over Loveland Pass via U.S. Highway 6, but that route was closed for avalanche control and cleanup work, according to a press release from the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District.
A haz-mat team was headed toward the accident site by 3:30 p.m., with no word on when the highway might re-open.
Earlier in the day, a truck carrying 2,500 gallons of magnesium chloride deicer overturned beneath the Interstate in Silverthorne, near the Blue River, closing Highway 6 and Highway 9 for a time. That area is now open again.
The tanker truck was carrying an estimated 40,000 pounds of an explosive gel when it was involved in a collision with a tow truck about 2:34 p.m. Interstate 70 is closed in BOTH directions between the Eisenhower Tunnel and the Silverthorne/Dillon exit, as hazardous-materials teams from the Colorado State Patrol and Summit County affect a cleanup. About 50 gallons are believed to have spilled.
The tow-truck driver was injured and taken to Summit Medical Center in Frisco.
A CSP Haz-Mat team is on scene now along with the Summit Haz-Mat team. They are attempting to plug the leak, and, if successful, they should be able to open eastbound Interstate 70 soon. Westbound I-70 will remain closed for an estimate four hours. Eastbound traffic may be held up briefly later on, too, when a wrecker is up there pulling apart the two vehicles, a heavy tow truck and the tanker.
Check http://www.goi70.com for updates on road conditions, delays and closures.