Glenwood Canyon: An I-70 Odyssey

    Examining a great engineering achievement
    and one of America's most scenic roadways

    By Matthew Salek


Coloroado MapGlenwood Canyon: A lot of people have heard of it, but may not be sure what it is. The significance of Glenwood Canyon and why this site is here is because of a difficult-to-build section of Interstate Highway. But once it was built, it had ended up being much more than that. Glenwood Canyon is

  • one of the most scenic sections of roadway in the country,
  • one of the last sections of Interstate Highway to be built,
  • a construction project that brought never-before-used construction methods to the U.S., and
  • one of the great engineering achievements of the U.S.

As I talk about various features of Glenwood Canyon on this site, use the Map link at the upper left to view a map depicting the general layout of the canyon and the roadway features in it.

Glenwood Canyon is on I-70 in western Colorado, about 150 miles west of Denver and 90 miles east of Grand Junction. The 16 mile-long canyon is on the Colorado River between the towns of Glenwood Springs and Gypsum. A huge engineering challenge was undertaken starting in the 1980s to complete one of the last stretches of Interstate Highway through the canyon. Transportation, environmental, recreational and economic considerations all had to be taking into account before the completed highway opened in 1992. In the end, the canyon ended up with a freeway snaking through its length using bridges, tunnels and retaining walls to create a highway that did not hurt, and even contributed to, the canyon's appearance.

To begin your tour, use the links at the upper left.

Disclaimer: This site is not part of or endorsed by the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Page created 11 October 2002
Last updated 11 October 2002