News

Summer Traffic Season Set to Start

May 23, 2013 - Central Eastern Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is reminding drivers to anticipate heavy traffic in many areas of the state over the Memorial Day weekend due to the number of events and social activities taking place throughout the state to kick off the summer season.

All CDOT construction projects will be suspended statewide by late Friday afternoon to reduce potential delays.  The only exception is for emergency operations.  Projects can resume their regular schedule on Tuesday, May 28.

Heavier than normal weekend traffic is expected on Interstate 25 along the Front Range and on I-70 west of Denver.  More traffic than normal will travel westbound I-70 on Fridayand Saturday and on eastbound I-70 on Memorial Day, May 27, especially between Summit County and the Denver area.

Last year’s traffic numbers at the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels (EJMT):

Westbound

Eastbound

Total

Friday, May 25, 2012

23,195

13,890

37,085

Saturday, May 26, 2012

19,006

12,474

31,480

Sunday, May 27, 2012

13,593

17,051

30,644

Monday, May 28, 2012

12,489

21,147

33,636

Total

68,283

64,562

132,845

“Tunnel traffic doesn’t break any records over Memorial Day because the tourist season is just getting underway, it’s not real hot on the Front Range yet and some schools are still open,” said Eisenhower Tunnel Superintendent Mike Salamon.  “However, traffic numbers now begin climbing through June and into July.”

Drivers can also expect the resumption of Continuous Flow Metering (CFM) at the EJMT this weekend, primarily on Monday.  Last winter, CDOT began testing this new way of metering traffic during congested periods.  Similar to ramp metering used in the Denver metro area and other congested areas, traffic is spread into four lanes with traffic signals located above each lane.  The signals then alternate traffic, efficiently regulating the flow of traffic the tunnel.  They cycle every 4 to 8 seconds so vehicles only have to stop briefly before being allowed to enter into the tunnel.

“CFM proved to be more effective at keeping the eastbound traffic moving through the tunnel than by the old way which required all vehicles to stop up to 20 minutes at a time,” added Salomon.  “People traveling the corridor can expect more CFM, especially on Sunday afternoons, this summer.”

Seasonal roads opening for the season include State Highway 82 over Independence Pass between Twin Lakes and Aspen (opened at 2 p.m. today), State Highway 5 – the Mount Evans Highway (State Highway 5) at 5 p.m. Friday, and Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park (Friday). All of these highways remain open through the summer – weather permitting.

Information regarding the opening and closing of seasonal highways in Colorado is available at all times on the cotrip.org website or by calling 511.  Updates also are offered via e-mail.  Please visit www.coloradodot.info and click on the cell-phone icon in the upper right-hand corner.  The link takes you to a list of items you can subscribe to, including General Travel Information – Seasonal Mountain Pass Closures/Openings.

CDOT’s new smartphone application also is providing drivers with easier access to I-70 traveler information. It includes travel speeds and times, road conditions, incidents, road work; and feeds from CDOT's closed-circuit television cameras and alerts.  Text CDOT to 25827 or download CDOT Mobile from your App store.

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