News

I-70 Now Open

February 7, 2020 - Mountain travelers should continue to prepare for delays, closures, and adverse conditions

STATEWIDE - Shortly before 9:00 p.m. Friday night, CDOT crews opened I-70 westbound, from Morrison to the Eisenhower Tunnel. US 285, Kenosha Pass also reopened in both directions. Extreme winter driving conditions remain and motorists should be prepared for closures and delays. 

The Colorado Department of Transportation advises motorists wanting to travel to or from the high country to stay where they are currently located through this weekend. Adverse winter weather conditions, including heavy snowfall, high winds, and low visibility continue to impact various areas of the state. As we head into this weekend, please be advised of forecasted weather and road conditions and adjust your travel plans accordingly. Be prepared as travel times may be significantly extended. Allow yourself additional time to reach your destination.

I-70 MOUNTAIN CORRIDOR

The brunt of this storm impacted the I-70 mountain corridor from as far east as Golden (Mile Marker 259) through the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnels and further west to Rifle. Avalanche mitigation efforts took place from daybreak Friday, Feb. 7 through the afternoon. CDOT’s Avalanche Mitigation Team, in coordination with the team from Colorado Avalanche Information Center, will reassess this evening and determine the best next steps. CDOT will continue to monitor each site throughout the weekend as snow and wind continue. Due to  these factors, mountain travel will continue to be challenging and motorists should EXPECT safety closures for avalanche mitigation through the weekend. 

BE ADVISED: The best course of action is if you are already in the mountains, stay in the mountains. Current weather conditions are persisting and more snow is on the way, forecasted through this evening and the weekend. Alternate routes, such as US 285, will also have extreme winter driving conditions. On Sunday CDOT anticipates slow and heavy traffic from the mountains towards the Front Range, and encourages motorists to brace themselves for a very long Sunday trip home.

DENVER METRO AND THE FRONT RANGE

The Denver Metro area and Front Range received heavier snowfall levels than originally forecasted. The current forecast shows more snow during the afternoon and evening rush hour. Maintenance crews are out in full force, but motorists should expect slick road conditions. The best thing to do is check current weather and road conditions at cotrip.org BEFORE you head home for the evening. DO NOT drive during the brunt of the storm, but rather look for a window of time when snow isn’t falling to travel to your final destination for the evening. If you are already in Denver, the recommendation is to stay in Denver for the evening. 

CHAIN & TRACTION LAWS 

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.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

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:

ADDITIONAL PIO CONTACTS

Matt Inzeo, Communications Director

240.381.7051 | [email protected] 

For Northwest/Western Slope 

Elise Thatcher, Region 3 Communications Manager
303.927.8299 Ι  [email protected]

For Bustang, Outrider and Snowstang

Bob Wilson, CDOT Statewide Communications Manager

303.757.9431

For Northeast Colorado 

Jared Fiel, Region 4 Communications Manager

970.302.2846 Ι  [email protected]

For Southwest Colorado 

Lisa Schwantes, Region 5 Communications Manager

970.749-2015 Ι  [email protected]

 

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