Wave Escorts Implemented on I-70 to Ensure Public Safety

February 27, 2014 - Metro Denver Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - DENVER/NORTHEAST COLORADO — In order 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.  Wave escorts are designed to keep traffic rolling, resulting in fewer delays on a heavily congested weekend in inclement weather.

The Colorado Department of Transportation cannot allow backups in or around the Eisenhower Tunnel. With increased traffic numbers, particularly during weekend peak travel times, CDOT is implementing innovative methods of traffic control to ensure traffic flow moves continuously in this area. Wave Escorts is one of these methods. When implemented, motorists should anticipate stops in Silverthorne or Frisco where they will wait for an escort up the mountain by Colorado State Patrol. Troopers will be stationed ready to lead waves of motorists up the mountain and through the Eisenhower Tunnel.

This and other methods of traffic control are implemented sparingly but are done so for the safety of the traveling public to minimize spin outs and loss of traction control up the mountain causing vehicles to become disabled in adverse winter weather. By holding traffic in these locations during adverse weather, snow plows are given an empty roadway to perform echelon plowing. Echelon plowing is when snow plows line up at an angle along the corridor. This type of plowing is the most effective and efficient method of clearing snow and ice from the roadway as evenly as possible in the least amount of time, providing motorists a clear and safe roadway.

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.

CDOT encourages all drivers using the I-70 mountain corridor to be prepared for the possibility of a storm throughout the fall, winter and spring seasons. 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.

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 atwww.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.