Less Traffic expected for Memorial Day Weekend

Travel Advisory

May 21, 2020 - Statewide News

Although the summer travel season begins tomorrow, the Colorado Department of Transportation is anticipating lower than normal traffic numbers this Memorial Day weekend due, in part, to Safer at Home directives in many areas of the state.

The Interstate 70 Corridor west of Denver also is expected to see less traffic over the four-day weekend.  In 2019, 159,201 vehicles traveled through the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels for the holiday.

“With the warmer weather upon us, this might be a tempting weekend to head to the mountains or to travel farther than usual from home,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew.  “But this year is unique.  We’re encouraging people to please follow public health orders, recreate responsibly and do their part to keep each other safe.”

Although traffic is expected to be lighter than usual this weekend, all CDOT construction and maintenance projects will be suspended by noon Friday and not resume their regular schedule until Tuesday, May 26.  The only exception is for emergency operations.

In addition, a number of seasonal roadways normally open by Memorial Day will have delayed openings this year.  Listed dates or time frames are subject to change: 

  • State Highway 5 – Mount Evans.  Early July.
  • State Highway 82 – Independence Pass between Twin Lakes and Aspen.  June 1.
  • Trail Ridge Road between Estes Park and Grand Lake (Rocky Mountain National Park).  Date to be determined. 
  • Guanella Pass between Georgetown and Grant.  Date to be determined.
  • Kebler Pass between Crested Butte and the Paonia area.  Thursday, May 21.
  • Cottonwood Pass between Buena Vista and Gunnison County.  Monday, June 1.

For the current status of the seasonal roads above, please check the cotrip.org

website or call 511.  For more information about the I-70 Corridor west of Denver, please visit: www.GoI70.com


  1. Watch for potholes. Winter’s freeze/thaw cycle weather can damage roadways, including the creation of potholes.  Spring rain also can make them difficult to see.  And they can damage your vehicle, requiring expensive repairs. Keep a safe following distance in case the driver in front of you reacts unpredictably. Avoid swerving if you can to avoid a pothole.
  2. Slow down for spring showers. Roads become slick when it first begins to rain because rainwater mixes with road contaminants, like as oil and grease.  Increase your following distance to allow for proper braking.
  3. Watch for pedestrians and bikes. Warmer temperatures mean more people are outside walking or bicycling.  Slow down and pay extra attention at crosswalks and along roadways.
  4. Share the road with motorcycles Motorcycles may quickly come in and out of your blind spots due to their speed and size. Always take a second look with more motorcycles out on the road.
  5. Animals are on the move. Animal activity increases during the spring, either due to mating season or because they are waking up from winter hibernation.  Deer are most active at dawn and dusk.
  6. Inspect your tires. Adequate tire tread is important for safe driving in wet weather because the tread moves water away from the tire.  Less tread means reduced traction.
  7. Maintain proper tire air pressure Tires lose air due to the cold winter temperatures and now can be underinflated.  Warmer temperatures can cause tires to be overinflated.

CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees 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, and administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated interregional express service. Gov. Jared Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s intermodal mobility options.