Wave Escorts Implemented on I-70 to Ensure Public Safety

February 23, 2014 - Central Eastern Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - DENVER/NORTHWEST COLORADO — Heavy traffic is expected along the I-70 mountain corridor today. Eastbound I-70 to experiencing delays throughout the afternoon, motorists should allow for plenty of extra time.

Wave Escorts may be implemented along I-70 eastbound prior to the Eisenhower Tunnel to ensure public safety inside the tunnel.

With some ski resorts reporting the most snowfall in over 10 years, CDOT is working to ensure the volume of motorist traveling to the mountains are safe and encourage the traveling public to ensure their vehicles are properly equipped for conditions, to drive for winter conditions when appropriate and to anticipate heavy delays when traveling during peak times.

To ensure public safety in the Eisenhower Tunnel, CDOT may implement metering prior to the tunnel.  Metering is used sparingly in this area to ensure that emergency personnel can access the tunnel during an incident.  Should weather conditions require it, CDOT will implement wave escorts further down the mountain at Silverthorne to ensure that eastbound traffic can move steadily up the hill without having to stop and encounter possible traction issues.  Implemented for the first time last Sunday, wave escorts kept traffic rolling, resulting in fewer delays on a heavily congested weekend in inclement weather.

CDOT encourages all drivers using this stretch of roadway to be prepared for the possibility of a storm as that is likely along the corridor this weekend and throughout the remainder of the winter season. Stocking your vehicle with essentials like water, blankets, windshield wiper fluid, hand warmers and nonperishable food items is highly encouraged. Preparing vehicles prior to a trip and driving according to conditions is essential to winter travel along this corridor. Should your vehicle become disabled along the roadway, be cautious of motorists if moving outside your vehicle.

“Change Your Peak Time” is a new campaign that has been launched to encourage mountain visitors to avoid peak travel times when traveling back to Denver. Skip the rush between 1p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Instead travelers can “Press Play, Avoid Delay” by spending an extra hour having fun in the mountains instead of spending an extra hour in peak traffic. CDOT has partnered with the I-70 Coalition, a consortium representing the mountain communities and resorts, to give travel tips and travel forecasts, and to offer discounts, deals and incentives for travelers interested in avoiding traffic by staying in the mountains for an extra hour or two. Peak Time Deals at www.goi70.com are updated regularly, and list locations of restaurants, entertainment options and retailers along the I-70 corridor offering weekend discounts. In addition to deals offered near resorts, Idaho Springs and Georgetown also offer incentives for travelers who want to leave early to beat the peak traffic, or who have already hit the road but would like to take a break from traffic on their way home. We encourage motorists to take advantage of these offers and to change their travel times in order to take advantage of all that our mountain towns have to offer.

CDOT continues to develop strategies to address incident response and is implementing plans to prepare this weekend for heavy volume and possible adverse weather conditions.  Among the strategies that CDOT will employ:

  • Expand CDOT’s I-70 West Courtesy Patrol to aid and assist stranded motorists with disabled vehicles
  • Work with stakeholders such as commercial vehicle providers to manage traffic flow on the corridor

To receive real-time updates about road conditions in your area, visit www.coloradodot.info and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Information about weekly lane closures will be available at www.coloradodot.info/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html. Live road conditions are available at www.cotrip.org, downloading the CDOT Mobile app or by calling 511 from anywhere in the state. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to “Like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/coloradodot.