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Great Snow, Mild Weather, Broncos Super Bowl Sunday: Outlook Bright for I-70 West Mountain Corridor Travel

February 5, 2016 - Statewide Transportation Plan - Statewide – Winter weather continues to make a presence as last night’s late snow required implementation of chain and traction laws in several areas; several traffic collisions and slide offs on Vail Pass occurred throughout the day.

Colorado Department of Transportation crews conducted avalanche control work on Thursday morning on both Loveland and Berthoud passes.  

“A decreasing chance of snow throughout the day today will help roadways become mostly clear in advance of the weekend. However, forecasts call for gusty winds through the weekend, which will impact travel due to blowing and drifting snow with snow packed and icy conditions remaining in areas at the higher elevations,”  I-70 Mountain Corridor Manager Patrick Chavez said.  “Traffic volumes are predicted to be high for both eastbound and westbound throughout the weekend. We expect heavy westbound traffic to start this afternoon with possible delays of 30-60 minutes, as weekend ski traffic begins to head to the mountains.”  

Chavez said there are no scheduled construction activity planned for today or this weekend. And while travel volumes are expected to be high with the great snow in the mountains and mild weather, the Super Bowl could alter patterns a bit.

“This is, of course, a big Super Bowl weekend for Colorado, and we expect to see a battle between fresh powder and a Bronco championship,” Colorado Traffic Management Center Operations Manager Rod Mead said. “Even during the 2015 Super Bowl without the Denver Broncos, the I-70 mountain corridor saw below average travel times on both Saturday and Sunday, with around 30-minute delays each day. Game day saw an earlier push in eastbound travel as people were leaving the mountains to get home for the game.”

Mead said the 2014 Super Bowl, with Broncos playing the Seattle Seahawks, resulted in average Saturday travel with around 30-minute delays at the peak. On game day Sunday, however, “You could have driven the corridor and never touched your brakes,” he said.

Chavez says he expects Saturday will have a larger-than-normal afternoon/evening push eastbound.

“For Super Bowl Sunday, if past data support what people are likely to do, travelers should be able to expect a very mild day for traffic, with the the eastbound peak occurring much earlier in the day,” Mead said. “We’ll see if history repeats itself, for travel that is.”

CDOT is reminding motorists to consult the department’s traveler information tools:  

  • Tune in to I-70 Mountain Travel Radio, broadcast every Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. to hear live broadcasts through either CoTrip.org or the CDOT Mobile app

  • Call 511 anywhere in Colorado for periodically updated road conditions;

  • Visit www.cotrip.org and CDOT Mobile;

  • Sign up for GovDelivery alerts;

  • Go to GoI70.com – hosted by the I-70 Coalition – to see weekly I-70 travel forecasts based on historical data and how weather, construction or events may impact the mountain commute;

  • Follow CDOT on Twitter and Facebook (though the latter will not provide the most up-to-date news and conditions).

Driving Tips, Operation TireSafe - CDOT reminds motorists to allow for extra travel time and to always be prepared when traveling during winter weather events. Winter driving tips can be found online at http://www.coloradodot.info/travel/winter-driving. Visitors to Arapahoe Basin this weekend will also benefit from free tire checks provided by CDOT Operation TireSafe partner, ColoradoLand Tire and Service.

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