CDOT says Prepare for Busy Holiday Weekend

Increased Traffic Volumes Expected Throughout MLK Holiday Weekend 

Snowy Conditions Expected Friday

The Colorado Department of Transportation encourages those heading into the high country this weekend to be prepared for heavy volumes of traffic and be equipped for snowy weather.

With fresh powder at the mountain ski resorts and a long holiday weekend, traffic volumes are expected to be high along the I-70 corridor and other mountain roadways. Westbound volumes are anticipated to increase into the afternoon on Friday and continue through Saturday. Motorists can expect 30 to 45 minute delays heading westbound on I-70.

“We expect to see the snow taper off Friday afternoon, as the surge of traffic westbound begins to make their way to mountain resorts for the holiday weekend,” explained CDOT’s I-70 Mountain Corridor Manager Patrick Chavez. “Slower speeds are expected due to increase volume from the holiday traffic as well as those wanting to take advantage of new, measurable snow that has fallen over the last 24 hours.”

Eastbound traffic volumes will be high on Sunday and Monday as travelers return to the metro area. Delays are expected to be 45 to 60 minutes along the I-70 mountain corridor.

FORECASTED CONDITIONS: Following Friday’s snow, weather conditions are forecast to be clear through the weekend, however CDOT encourages motorists to be prepared, regardless of the weather forecast.

WINTER DRIVING TIPS: 

Check your tires

Worn tires can’t grip the road well and can be extremely hazardous. Check your tires by performing the Quarter Test. Insert a quarter into the tire tread upside down, with Washington’s head going in first; if the top of George’s head is covered by the tread, your tires are OK (do this test in multiple points around each tire). If the top of his head is visible at any point, you need new tires.

Invest in safety by getting a set of snow tires. When it comes to stopping safely on snow and ice, all-season tires simply don’t compare to winter tires (see infographic).

If your tires don’t have at least a one-eighth inch tread when a Traction Law is called, you are in violation of the law and could end up with a fine.

Leave extra room

Leave extra room between your vehicle and others on the road at all times.

Even vehicles with four-wheel/all-wheel drive will not stop any quicker on icy roads, especially if you have inadequate tires.

Drive for conditions

Slow down! In poor visibility, don’t drive faster than you can see ahead. High speeds in poor visibility can lead to vehicle crashes.

Give yourself plenty of space! Keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. Vehicles traveling too close can lead to crashes and dangerous chain reactions.

Bow to the plow

Snow plows need space to work, so unless you want to cause a crash, delays or be stuck on a snow-covered road, don't crowd the plow!

If you must pass a snowplow, do so on the left and with extreme caution.

Be I-70 smart

Check Goi70.com to see travel forecasts for the I-70 mountain corridor, road updates, rideshare and parking information, deals on lodging, food and entertainment for travelers and more.

Remember to avoid peak travel times whenever possible and consider carpooling or alternative transportation.

Have a plan

If you are stuck in a serious storm, do not leave your car. Run the engine periodically and wait for help.

Prepare a winter driving vehicle kit. Carry blankets, water, a flashlight, a shovel, some nutrition bars or other food for sustenance. Winterize your vehicle's safety kit by including extra blankets, sand to help gain traction in the event you become stuck on ice or snow, jumper cables and an ice scraper.

AVOID A FINE! Motorists should be aware the Traction Law (Code 15) and Passenger Vehicle Chain Law (Code 16) could be implemented if conditions require it. When either law is in effect, highway signage will be activated. Without proper equipment, you can be fined $130. If your vehicle blocks the roadway, you could be fined more than $650.

Traction Law  Motorists will need snow tires, tires with mud/snow (M/S) designation, or a four-wheel drive vehicle — all tires must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread.

Passenger Vehicle Chain Law  Every vehicle on the roadway must have chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock).

SNOW PLOW TRACKER: The public can view snow plow locations on any device by clicking http://cotrip.org/snowplow.htm#/snowplow (also see upper right hand corner of cotrip.org menu). Using this information, motorists will be able to see plows’ current locations, their travel speed and direction they are traveling. Plows that have not moved for more than 16 minutes will not be visible.

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