News

Gone is the Winter of our Discontent

June 6, 2012 - Statewide Transportation Plan - Summer maintenance is now underway - how did CDOT crews fair this winter?

STATEWIDE – Perhaps 1594 was as dry a year as 2012. And maybe Shakespeare’s King Richard III had a less than desirable ski season, as well. One thing is certain, it was a fairly mild winter across Colorado. Now with summer cone zone season gearing up—Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance sections statewide are announcing the accomplishments of last season’s Snow and Ice program.

“We did have an unseasonably mild winter, but any break from snow and ice control was well spent on other activities,” CDOT Region 3 Deputy Maintenance Superintendent John David said. “We had plenty of roadside maintenance to address, equipment to service and—especially on the Western Slope—crews were able to get a jump on dry weather maintenance like crack sealing, culvert cleaning and fence repair.”

The following is a snapshot of CDOT’s Snow and Ice program over the past two seasons (please refer to attached map when reviewing localized information).

STATEWIDE MAINTENANCE 2011-12:

CDOT has 9 maintenance sections statewide, further broken down into 44 maintenance areas and 213 patrols. There are approximately 1,500 maintenance workers, 3,000 pieces of equipment (including 675 snowplows, 352 of which are equipped with Maintenance Decision Support System, an in-cab computer system that helps plow drivers apply just the right product at the right time and temperature) and 23,000 total lane miles (combined length of all highways’ individual lanes). Last winter, crews plowed 22,666,423 lane miles; sprayed 10,380,897 gallons of liquid deicer; and spread 159,608 tons of salt/sand. CDOT’s total Snow and Ice program dollars spent (including overhead and administration): $51,121,622.

STATEWIDE MAINTENANCE 2010-11:

During the previous winter, crews plowed 30,477,432 lane miles; sprayed 8,033,104 gallons of liquid deicer; and spread 207,504 tons of salt/sand. CDOT’s total Snow and Ice program dollars spent (including overhead and administration): $59,395,741.

CDOT Maintenance Section Winter Snow & Ice Program Accomplishments

(Please see attached map to view each Section’s coverage area).

2011-12

Total Dollars Spent

Plow Miles

Salt Sand Tons

Liquids Gallons

GREELEY

$3,937,212

1,525,998.47

12,228

458,918

GRAND JCT.

$6,285,693

2,098,158.93

25,469

1,967,293

DURANGO

$4,081,845

1,492,646.02

9,427

1,348,779

PUEBLO

$6,069,100

4,787,087.56

23,578

2,088,285

AURORA

$10,278,927

8,785,911.00

39,525

2,631,288

CRAIG

$2,340,243

1,057,458.91

16,179

185,156

ALAMOSA

$2,387,372

439,859.00

15,003

94,695

DENVER

$7,049,967

2,478,584.16

18,012

1,606,484

I-70 EIS. TUN.

$100,720

719

188

0

Totals

$59,395,741

22,666,423.05

159,608

10,380,897






2010-11

Total Dollars Spent

Plow Miles

Salt Sand Tons

Liquids Gallons

GREELEY

$4,241,940

2,014,429.32

14,893

729,369

GRAND JCT.

$8,014,246

4,158,238.66

40,695

1,297,177

DURANGO

$919,272

919,271.63

13,089

313,162.50

PUEBLO

$3,675,908

3,675,907.50

26,767

1,859,241

AURORA

$12,897,312

12,897,311.50

57,084

2,613,241

CRAIG

$2,290,326

2,290,326.37

24,868

219,721

ALAMOSA

$1,952,056

1,952,055.56

18,781

109,869

DENVER

$2,561,312

2,561,312.00

11,362

891,323

I-70 EIS. TUN.

$8,580

8,580.00

0

0

Totals

$51,121,622

30,477,432.54

207,540

8,033,104











The ridge of high pressure over Colorado will flatten over the next two days as a large closed low-pressure system approaches from the southwest. Warm air will continue to move into the state today with increasing amounts of moisture in the upper portion of the atmosphere. Winds will be in the low to moderate range from the west and southwest statewide. Low-level moisture will increase this evening as the closed low moves into California and begins to track across the southwest US. Precipitation, if any, will be limited to the high peaks until Thursday when moist southwest flow moves into the San Juan Mountains. The combination of the closed low and a second system moving in from the north could make for an interesting holiday weekend.

AVALANCHE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM CDOT’s Avalanche Atlas has over 522 known avalanche paths, and crews—working with Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecasters—regularly monitor and/or control over 278 of those.

During the 2010-11 winter season: CDOT experienced 841 hours of road closures due to avalanche control resulting in a total of 29,866 feet of snow covering the centerline of the roadway. Crews triggered 283 avalanches with explosives and handled 158 natural occurrences—all without injuries, fatalities or equipment damage.

During the 2011-2012 winter season (also see localized information, below): CDOT experienced 369 hours of road closures due to avalanche control resulting in a total of 13,331 feet of snow covering the centerline of the roadway. Crews triggered 516 avalanches with explosives and handled 83 natural occurrences—all without injuries, fatalities or equipment damage.

2011-2012 Avalanche Control Activity by Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) forecaster office:

CAIC Office

Mtn. Pass

Triggered

Natural

Highway Centerline covered (ft.)

Closure Hours

Eisenhower

Berthoud Pass

30

0

550

16.12

 

Loveland Pass

99

12

2,056

265.77

 

Vail Pass

25

1

0

2.12

 

Eisenhower Tunnel, Loop Road

29

2

30

2.5

Redstone

McClure Pass

0

4

0

0

 

Battle Mountain

0

4

50

0

 

Grand Mesa

19

5

1,905

18

 

Douglas Pass

0

0

0

0

 

Slumgullion

0

1

0

0

 

Freemont Pass

0

0

0

0

 

Twin Lakes

0

0

0

0

 

Glenwood Canyon

0

0

0

0

 

Blue Canyon

0

0

0

0

Pagosa

Wolf Creek

51

14

0

5.87

 

Monarch

5

6

365

2.67

 

Cubres/La Manga

9

3

100

1.67

Silverton

Red Mountain Pass

179

22

6,085

37.92

 

Molas/Coal Bank

48

6

1,970

13.83

Telluride

Lizard Head

22

3

220

3.17

 

 

516

83

13,331

369.64

ROAD CONDITION/LANE CLOSURE INFORMATION: To find the conditions and closures, log onto our traveler information site at www.cotrip.org or call 511 from anywhere in the state. Better yet, sign up to receive wireless text alerts and/or e-mails about road conditions on our web site (see the green phone icon in the upper right-hand corner).

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