STORM ALERT − Snow will affect essential travel along I-70 mountain corridor and across Northwest Colorado

Travel Advisory

April 15, 2020, 7:15 p.m.

The Colorado Department of Transportation advises motorists doing essential travel or services along the I-70 mountain corridor and across Northwest Colorado to be prepared for considerable travel impacts beginning Wednesday night. Heavy snow is expected in the mountains overnight Wednesday and well into Thursday. A foot of snow is in the forecast for the Summit County and Vail Pass sections of I-70, as well as 10-18” for Rabbit Ears and Berthoud passes on US 40. Hwy 133 McClure Pass could receive 6-10” with 5-9” in the forecast for Grand Mesa (CO 65). Travelers should also prepare for strong winds and winter weather between Rifle and Steamboat Springs.

CDOT crews are already on the roadways to remove snow and ice, and carry out other duties to maintain highway safety. Motorists are urged to heed the Governor’s stay at home order, particularly when it is snowing. The key priority for CDOT crews is to keep roads clear and plowed for essential freight and emergency services.

Although there are fewer motorists on the road, CDOT asks motorists to go slow and drive to conditions. “While traffic volumes have been reduced, some motorists are driving excessively fast causing dangerous conditions for everyone on the road,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “There has been very dangerous driving in recent storms, resulting in fatalities. During this time when Colorado and the world are focused on life and death matters with the COVID-19 health care crisis, motorists need to drive like their life depends on it and be extremely careful when driving in the snow. Getting into a crash at this time will put further pressure on busy hospitals. If motorists must be out for essential travel, they have to drive to the conditions. That means TAKE IT SLOW, watch for icy spots on bridges and overpasses and don’t pass plows.”

"We know that many essential employees still have to drive to work, so we want to remind them to slow down and give extra time to arrive," said Colonel Matthew Packard, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol. "Even with less traffic volume on the roadways, drivers still need to be cautious to arrive safely. If you can avoid going to the grocery store or other trips during the storm, please do."

Avoiding travel between cities and regions is also an important part of limiting the spread of COVID-19 between different communities. For latest road conditions, go to


Safe transportation infrastructure is essential for emergency first responders and freight drivers as Colorado navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, construction continues on CDOT projects with social distancing and other measures to reduce COVID-19 exposure on the worksite. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced guidelines for construction activities. Gov. Polis issued an emergency, temporary stay-at-home order for all of Colorado, which went into effect Thursday, March 26. With this order, the public is urged to join the campaign for #DoingMyPartCO and avoid all nonessential travel. With fewer vehicles on the roads, CDOT crews will be able to work more efficiently and safely.


CDOT urges travelers to be aware of chain and traction law codes before heading out on the roadway.

Code 18/Commercial Chain Law: Commercial vehicles and trucks must have chains. Vehicles without chains can often lose traction, causing traffic delays and sometimes road closures. For the safety of the traveling public, it's critical to use chains to be in compliance with Colorado's chain law.

Code 15/Passenger Traction Law: All passenger vehicles must have appropriate all-weather tires with 3/16-inch depth. Vehicles must have one of the following: winter tires, tires with mud/snow (M+S) designation, chains or alternative traction devices such as an autosock. 4WD and AWD vehicles must have winter tires or all weather tires.

Code 16/Passenger Chain Law: All passenger vehicles need chains, except for 4WD and AWD vehicles with all-weather tires with 3/16 inch tread depth.


Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:

CDOT winter driving tips downloadable flyer: WinterWise Driving Tips

Road conditions and travel information:

Chain and traction law information:

Sign up for project or travel alerts:

See scheduled lane closures:

Connect with us on social media: Twitter @coloradodot and Facebook


In early 2019, CDOT announced its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative takes a systematic, statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.


CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located at its Denver headquarters and in regional offices throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Governor Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.