STATEWIDE — The storms have picked up and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is encouraging drivers to stay off roads where possible. Weather forecasts anticipate heavy snowfall through midnight. CDOT has deployed crews around the state, with up to 200 plows in the Front Range from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs.
Crews across the state have prepped vehicles and are scheduled on round-the-clock storm patrol shifts. For the I-70 mountain corridor (Golden to Dotsero), the incident management team is ready to employ numerous strategies to help motorists travel the interstate safely.
For travelers going to the high country Sunday morning please remember these safety tips:
- Before travel, check tires. Make sure tires are winter ready with at least 1/8” depth tread or have chains
- A priority for the I-70 corridor is to not have stop-and-go traffic on the inclines leading up to the Eisenhower Tunnel; traffic may be stopped in safe locations accordingly so this can be avoided
- Expect there could be heavy delays or even closures if necessary up to 2 to 3 hours given weather conditions and traffic volume
- There will be heavy delays between 6 – 10 a.m. and 12 – 8 p.m.
- Operation strategies to ensure traveling public safety on I-70 West Mountain Corridor:
o Ramp metering at eastbound I-70 at Copper Mountain, Frisco, Silverthorne, and Loveland as heavy traffic congestion warrants
o Metering of traffic westbound I-70 at Georgetown or even Idaho Springs
o Metering of traffic eastbound on I-70 at mile marker 207
o Metering at Eisenhower Tunnel
o Snowplow Escorts both eastbound or westbound during adverse conditions to provide the best road conditions and safe speeds during periods (also employed when backups into Eisenhower Tunnel are most likely)
o Heavy Tow and Courtesy Patrols in place, as usual
o CDOT crews working with Colorado State Patrol to quickly manage any incidents or accidents
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE STATE:
In total, CDOT will have up to 684 plows deployed statewide as conditions warrant. Across Colorado, weekend travelers can expect winter driving conditions in both the valleys and mountain areas.
“The intensity of this storm will be marked by bands of moisture dropping as much as two to three inches per hour, for a several-hour period,” said Bhatt. The heaviest amounts of snowfall are expected in the area between Vail Pass south to Monarch Pass on US 50.”
Denver Metro Area/I-70 Mountain Corridor to Tunnel/CDOT Region 1:
- As many as 106 plows will be out in the metro area and up to 54 plows available for the I-70 mountain corridor.
- Expect as much as 10-18 inches of accumulation along the Front Range metro area by Monday, and 1-2 feet of snow along the I-70 west mountain corridor.
- Expect driving to be difficult along mountain corridor. CDOT will deploy Courtesy Patrol vehicles to help motorists along the I-25 corridor as necessary.
Southeast/CDOT Region 2
- As many as 151 plows will be out, as warranted.
- Continue to expect heavy snowfall along the I-25 corridor.
Northwest/CDOT Region 3
- As many as 192 plows will be available for storm shifts across the region’s two maintenance sections, or for supporting patrols to the east in Region 1, as needed.
Northwest/CDOT Region 4
- Up to 184 plows will be available.
- Along the I-70 corridor east to Kansas is always a concern with blowing snow. Pay attention to local media for any road closures.
Southwest/CDOT Region 5
- As many as 109 plows will be available for storm shifts across southwest and south-central Colorado (including the San Louis Valley).