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The storm isn’t over- impacts continuing through Wednesday

October 28, 2019 - Denver Metro Colorado/Southeastern Colorado - CDOT urges motorists to leave work early Tuesday as the brunt of the storm is expected Tuesday afternoon

Another storm is bringing snow to most of the state Tuesday and Wednesday. This storm is expected to be more significant than the previous one, with higher snowfall amounts and colder temperatures in the teens and single digits. The heaviest snow and largest impacts are expected to begin Tuesday afternoon, with an anticipated ten to 12 inches of snow total for Denver and the surrounding areas throughout the storm. Most affected areas will have up to one to two inches of snow per hour at some time during the storm.  Expect icy conditions and snow packed pavements.  Roads will be slick even with plowing and treatment. 

The heaviest snowfall and major impacts are anticipated for the following times:

  • I-70 Mountain Corridor- late afternoon Tuesday through the night

  • Foothills- Tuesday evening and through the night

  • Denver Metro area- Tuesday afternoon into the evening rush hour and through the night 

CDOT maintenance crews have been and will continue to be in full snow shift until the storm passes. This means they are working in 12 hour shifts, with a day crew and a night crew working to plow the roads and keep them as safe as possible. 

CDOT is greatly appreciative of motorists who heeded warnings and avoided driving during the height of the storm this week, particularly on the I-25 South Gap project.  Many motorists were slowing down with the help of the lower speed limit.  This greatly helped plowing efforts and helped to reduce the number of crashes.  We ask for your patience again as another storm brews.  If you can telework or adjust your schedule during snow storms, it helps greatly to get more vehicles off the road.  This reduces crashes and benefits everyone’s safety. 

Below is a breakdown of storm impacts:

METRO DENVER 

While roads have cleared out today, wet areas will refreeze overnight making for some icy spots particularly on overpasses and bridges.  Light snow is expected tomorrow morning with the brunt of the storm hitting later in the day.  Significant impacts are expected during the evening rush hour with a possible additional foot of new snow. The heaviest snowfall is expected east of Denver, impacting the I-70 and I-76 corridors.  Motorists should expect slick and hazardous driving conditions and leave home earlier if possible before the brunt of the storm hits.

About 100 CDOT plows will be out in force through the storm.  Their first priority is plowing and treating the interstates.  While it is snowing, crews will make multiple passes to keep the roads as clear as possible. With the snow falling at a fast rate, roads will still be slick and snow covered.  

I-70 MOUNTAIN CORRIDOR

Safety closures are likely.  Motorists and truckers must be winter ready and prepared for the chain and passenger traction laws along the corridor.  Trucks must have chains and passenger vehicles must have snow tires or chains.  Eight to 12 inches of snow is anticipated on the corridor from Golden to the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel.  Seven to 11 inches expected for Vail Pass. 

I-25 SOUTH GAP PROJECT AND MONUMENT HILL 

Motorists should avoid the brunt of the storm with seven to 11 inches of snow anticipated for the Gap Tuesday afternoon.  The speed limit will be 45 miles per hour.  Should motorists have to be out, it is critical to drive slow, stay a safe distance behind the vehicle ahead, don’t pass plows and don’t attempt driving in the snow unless your vehicle is properly equipped for the weather, including having the right tires with good tread depth.

Construction activities are suspended on Gap this week. 

Anticipated snow totals tomorrow through early Wednesday

I-25 Urban Corridor - 6-10”

I-25 Gap Project - 7-11”

I-70/US 285 Foothills - 7-11”

I-70/76 East - 8-14”

US 40 Rabbit Ears Pass -  8-12”

I-70 EJMT - 8-12”

I-70 Vail Pass - 7-11”

US 50 Monarch Pass - 8-12”

NORTHEAST COLORADO

Tuesday afternoon and evening will bring substantial snowfall to areas from Estes Park and Boulder to Denver as well as communities to the east. Winds out east will add to the difficulties on the plains from Denver out to the Kansas and Nebraska borders. Plan ahead for this storm. Winds and snow are never a good combination on the plains which could lead to drifting snow and icy roads. 

Please pay attention to COtrip.org for the latest in road closures, as storms like this tend to close multiple locations along the eastern plains. 

THE BOTTOM LINE

  • Motorists and commuters in the Denver Metro area and who travel the I-25 South Gap between Castle Rock and Monument:  leave early if you can before the brunt of the storm is expected to hit Tuesday afternoon and into the evening rush hour.

  • Don’t attempt to drive during a snowstorm unless your vehicle is appropriately equipped for the weather. 

  • If you are out in the bad weather, take it slow, leave a safe distance behind the vehicle ahead and don’t pass plows.

  • The I-70 Mountain Corridor will most likely implement chain and passenger vehicle laws.  Truckers are required to have chains and passenger vehicles must have either snow or snow/mud tires with 3/16 inch tread depth, or chains/alternative traction devices.  AWD and 4WD vehicles can have all weather tires with 3/16 inch tread depth.

  • CDOT is working around the clock with 100 plows out in the Denver Metro area alone.  Their priority during a storm is clearing interstates first, making multiple passes.  Roads will still be slick and snow packed with heavy rates of snow anticipated. 

STAY INFORMED

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