Summer Traffic Season set to Wrap-Up

August 30, 2013 - Statewide News - The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is reminding drivers to anticipate heavy traffic in many areas of the state over the Labor Day weekend due to the number of events and social activities taking place around the region to finish up the summer travel 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 will resume their regular schedule on Tuesday, September 3.

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 today and Saturday and eastbound I-70 on Labor Day, September 2, especially between Summit County and the Denver area.

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

Westbound EastboundTotal
Friday, August 31, 2012 29,090 15,201 44,291
Saturday, September 1, 2012 24,982 15,080 40,062
Sunday, September 2, 2012 16,670 21,764 38,434
Monday, September 3, 2012 12,820 26,873 39,693
Total 83,562 78,918 162,480

“We’ve had some record breakers over the Labor Day weekend in the past years so people should be prepared for some slower moving traffic on the corridor the next few days,” said Eisenhower Tunnel Superintendent Mike Salamon.  “They should also expect Continuous Flow Metering on eastbound I-70, most likely on Monday.”

Continuous Flow Metering (CFM) at the EJMT is similar to ramp metering used in the Denver metro area and other congested areas.  Eastbound traffic is spread into four lanes on the west side of the tunnel, with traffic signals located above each lane.  The signals then alternate traffic, efficiently regulating the flow of traffic into the tunnel.  The signals cycle every 4 to 8 seconds so vehicles only have to stop briefly before being allowed to enter.

“CFM has 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.

One seasonal road is partially closing after this weekend.  CDOT will close the five miles of the Mount Evans Highway (Colorado 5) from Summit Lake to the top on Tuesday, September 3, at 8 a.m.  This is done, per agreement, with the U.S. Forest Service.  The remaining 10 miles, from Echo Lake (State Highway 103) to Summit Lake, will remain open until early October, unless weather creates adverse driving conditions.

Other seasonal roadways – State Highway 82 over Independence Pass between Twin Lakes and Aspen and Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park – remain open through the fall until adverse weather requires them to be closed for the season.

Information regarding the opening and closing of seasonal highways in Colorado is available at all times on the website or by calling 511.  Updates also are offered via e-mail.  Please visit 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.