News

Drivers cautioned about sun glare safety closures on eastbound Interstate 70

November 13, 2020 - Northwestern Colorado

I-70 MOUNTAIN CORRIDOR – The Colorado Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers that safety closures due to sun glare can occur in the morning hours on eastbound Interstate 70 at Floyd Hill from November through February annually. The sun’s angle, in combination with the hill and the highway’s configuration, can create a blinding sun glare for drivers as they head eastbound up Floyd Hill (about Mile Points 244 to 248 – east of Idaho Springs). The intense sun glare occurs as far east as Genesee beginning around sunrise and lasting until around 8:30 a.m.  

CDOT provides advance notification of the potential hazard with messages on its electronic sign boards prior to Floyd Hill, alerting motorists of the sun glare and to anticipate slower speeds. Drivers who travel eastbound I-70 in the early morning hours during fall and winter are urged to pay attention to the overhead message boards beginning just east of the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel. Additionally, drivers can check the latest travel alerts by going to www.cotrip.org. Motorists can also sign up for customized text and email alerts for the I-70 mountain corridor to receive advance notification. 

The sun glare closures at Floyd Hill are for the safety of the traveling public. The decision is made on a case by case basis each morning with collaboration between Colorado State Patrol and CDOT personnel who are stationed near Floyd Hill. The eastbound sun glare can become blinding for motorists, especially when there is leftover moisture on the roadway from a storm or from pre-storm road treatment materials. On top of that, mountain driving conditions include steep hills, sharp turns, and unknown scenarios such as wildlife crossing the highway. For these reasons, the sun glare safety closures at Floyd Hill become necessary. This is a unified effort between CSP and CDOT to keep motorists as safe as possible.  

DETOUR ROUTE:

If a sun glare safety closure is in place during your morning commute along eastbound I-70:

  • Traffic headed eastbound on I-70 will be rerouted at Exit 244 (US 6) which is at the bottom of Floyd Hill. 

  • Motorists can either stay the course on US 6 through Clear Creek Canyon, or they can take the eastbound I-70 frontage road (US 40) and get back onto I-70 at Beaver Brook (Exit 248).

  • The closures average around 45 minutes to an hour and can occur between sunrise and 8:30 a.m. from November through February each year. 

OTHER DRIVER RECOMMENDATIONS: 

  • Make sure your windshield is clean – inside and out. Ensure your vehicle has plenty of windshield wiper fluid.
  • Wear a good pair of sunglasses to provide shading.
  • Expect traffic slowdowns between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. along I-70 eastbound near Floyd Hill, and adjust your speed to avoid sudden reactions.
  • Let off the accelerator and slow down gradually instead of slamming on the brakes, if suddenly blinded by the sun. 
  • Adjust your eastbound I-70 travel plans near Floyd Hill to before sunrise or later in the morning. If possible, avoid traveling eastbound up Floyd Hill between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on sunny days November through February. 

For more information about sun glare, visit www.codot.gov/travel/sunglare. Road conditions can change quickly at this time of year. Drivers can check the latest road and weather conditions by going to www.cotrip.org. Updates are also available via e-mail or text.

# # #

Colorado: The Official State Web Portal