Airlines offer $1,000 detour around I-70 rockslide

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The slow pace of repairs on Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon has turned into a prime business opportunity for airlines flying between Eagle and Aspen.

The Denver Post reports that charter carriers reported sales of $1,000 tickets for one-way rides between Eagle and Aspen. Online bookings of short-notice flights from Denver to Grand Junction were priced as high as $850 round trip Wednesday afternoon.

However, the business boom might not last long.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said two lanes of the highway through Glenwood Canyon could be open by late this evening.

The canyon has been closed to all vehicular traffic since early Monday, when boulders as large as a semi tractor tumbled down and broke through the concrete roadbed in both directions.

The fallen rock has been removed from the highway. But a 20-foot-diameter boulder hanging precariously on a ledge about 900 feet above the highway needed to be blasted away. Helicopters were used Wednesday to lower crews to the boulder.