Adverse weather continues on the I-70 mountain corridor. Wave Escorts were implemented on westbound I-70 during peak times this morning. During this time, plows were working to clear the roads of snow and ice while traffic was being held in order to maintain public safety and improve traction. I-70 eastbound has reopened at Silverthorne, Vail Pass and Dotsero.
Wave Escorts have been implemented on I-70 at Silverthorne and motorists should anticipate this to continue well into the evening due to traffic volumes and adverse winter weather. Wave Escorts are implemented along the corridor to ensure that traffic can move steadily up the hill without having to stop and encounter possible traction issues. Wave escorts are designed to keep traffic rolling, resulting in fewer delays on a heavily congested weekend in inclement weather.
The Colorado Department of Transportation cannot allow backups in or around the Eisenhower Tunnel for the safety of the traveling public. With increased traffic numbers, particularly during weekend peak travel times, CDOT is implementing innovative methods of traffic control to ensure traffic flow moves continuously in this area. When Wave Escorts are implemented, motorists should anticipate stops in Silverthorne or Frisco where they will wait for an escort up the mountain by Colorado State Patrol. Troopers will be stationed ready to lead waves of motorists up the mountain and through the Eisenhower Tunnel.
By holding traffic in these locations during adverse weather, snow plows are given an empty roadway to perform echelon plowing. Echelon plowing is when snow plows line up at an angle along the corridor. This type of plowing is the most effective and efficient method of clearing snow and ice from the roadway as evenly as possible in the least amount of time, providing motorists a clear and safe roadway.
All commercial vehicles were instructed to exit at Dotsero and staged releases are being set up at this time for those vehicles along the corridor. Loveland Pass remains closed with no estimated time for reopening. CDOT is working to ensure the volume of motorists traveling along this mountain corridor are safe and encourage the traveling public to ensure their vehicles are properly equipped for conditions, to drive according to winter conditions when appropriate and to anticipate heavy delays when traveling during peak times.
Motorists should anticipate delays due to heavy traffic and winter weather and are encouraged to prepare their vehicle accordingly. Stocking your vehicle with essentials like water, blankets, windshield wiper fluid, hand warmers and nonperishable food items is highly encouraged. Preparing vehicles prior to a trip and driving according to conditions is essential to winter travel along this corridor to maintain safety and reduce delays.
With weather conditions causing multiple accidents and unsafe driving conditions already this morning, CDOT and GoI70.com are encouraging motorists to consider taking advantage of Peak Time Deals and stay in the mountains to avoid peak traffic this afternoon – either by securing a great last minute lodging deal or cashing in on a discount for dinner. Lodging options and Peak Time Deals can be found at www.GoI70.com/deals. At the same time, motorists can win a weekend getaway by capturing a photo of how they avoided I-70 traffic and posting it to Facebook/ChangeYourPeakTime. Contest rules for the Peak Time Challenge are at www.GoI70.com/oleg.
CDOT continues to develop strategies to address incident response and is implementing plans to prepare this weekend for heavy volume and possible adverse weather conditions. Among the strategies that CDOT will employ:
• Expand CDOT’s I-70 West Courtesy Patrol to aid and assist stranded motorists with disabled vehicles
• Work with stakeholders such as commercial vehicle providers to manage traffic flow on the corridor
To receive real-time updates about road conditions in your area, visit www.coloradodot.info and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Information about weekly lane closures will be available at www.coloradodot.info/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html. Live road conditions are available atwww.cotrip.org, downloading the CDOT Mobile app or by calling 511 from anywhere in the state. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to “Like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/coloradodot.