Extended Snow Forecast, Cold Temperatures Pose Challenging Driving Conditions Along I-70 Corridor

Statewide—The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reminds motorists to prepare vehicles for winter driving conditions this weekend as snow is expected throughout the weekend along the I-70 corridor and in several areas around the state.

"We're expecting heavier traffic volumes with the new snowfall enticing skiers to hit the slopes," CDOT's I-70 Mountain Corridor Manager Patrick Chavez said. "Motorists may also experience some delays beginning early Saturday morning for avalanche mitigation that will take place on Berthoud Pass and Loveland Pass."

CDOT has broad authority to close any portion of a state highway to traffic due to a natural disaster, weather conditions, or any other emergency circumstances, resulting in making road conditions unsafe for travel by motor vehicles. That authority includes closing a road to traffic if adequate tire chains or snow tires are determined to be necessary.

Motorists should be aware the Traction Law (Code 15) and Passenger Vehicle Chain Law (Code 16) could be implemented if conditions require it. When either law is in effect, highway signage will be activated.

  • Traction Law—Motorists will need snow tires, tires with mud/snow (M/S) designation, or a four-wheel drive vehicle. All tires must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread.
  • Passenger Vehicle Chain Law—Every vehicle on the roadway must have chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock).

Without proper equipment, you can be fined $130. If your vehicle blocks the roadway, you could be fined more than $650.

The public can view snow plow locations on any device on COtrip.org. (Also see the upper right hand corner of the COtrip menu). Using this information, motorists will be able to see plows' current locations, their travel speed and direction they are traveling. Plows that have not moved for more than 16 minutes will not be visible.

CDOT reminds motorists to allow for extra travel time and to always be prepared when traveling during winter weather events. See winter driving tips.

Motorists can call 511 anywhere in Colorado for periodic updated road conditions, visit COtrip.org or sign up for GovDelivery alerts that offer important travel information. Also, GoI70.com—hosted by the I-70 Coalition—provides weekly I-70 travel forecasts based on historical data and how weather, construction or events may impact the mountain commute. Finally, CDOT provides travel information and frequent updates through Twitter and periodically on Facebook.