Heavy Traffic Ahead

Travel Advisory

July 1, 2022 - Statewide News - July Fourth traditional start of high travel season

Denver – The Colorado Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to anticipate heavier than normal traffic over the long holiday weekend, and to be prepared for longer drive times on mountain highways and other roads, especially those providing access to the state’s recreational destinations.

To help minimize traffic impacts, construction and maintenance projects are suspended until Tuesday, July 5. The only exception is for emergency operations.

Along with additional weekend traffic, Independence Day traditionally begins a period of above average traffic in the high country, with summer tourism hitting its peak over the next six to seven weeks.

“With more vehicles on the road, we’re reminding people to please be prepared, remain calm, and follow the safe driving practices we recommend, including staying alert, avoid distracting driving, and checking the weather forecast and road conditions ahead of time — in particular, recent rain is incredibly important for our environment but can mean changing conditions on the roadways for which travelers should be prepared,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “Additionally, we encourage drivers to save hassle and money by taking advantage of our summer promotions on Bustang and the new Pegasus service, which offer great options for holiday travel.”

Fares for all Bustang and Bustang Outrider routes, including CDOT’s new express shuttle service, Pegasus, are half-off through Labor Day. Please go to ridebustang.com for more information.

This weekend’s vehicle numbers at the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels are anticipated to be comparable to Independence Day Weekend in 2021:

Date Westbound Eastbound Total
Friday, July 2 30,771 19,582 50,353
Saturday, July 3 26,262 18,997 45,259
Sunday, July 4 16,717 21,480 38,197
Monday, July 5 19,085 31,455 50,540
Tuesday, July 6 18,420 21,683 40,103
Total 111,255 113,197 224,452

Widely-scattered showers and thunderstorms are likely over portions of Colorado during the holiday weekend, especially at higher elevations. The risk for heavy rainfall is lower but still possible due to elevated moisture levels. The severe storm risk is also lower, Beginning Sunday, storm coverage appears highest south of Interstate 70, and especially into the San Juan Mountains where the heavy rainfall risk is highest.

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:

Be Safe - Be Prepared - for summer Driving

  • Stay Alert. Plan enough time to stop along the way to stretch, get something to eat and drink, return any calls or text messages, and change drivers if you’re feeling tired or drowsy.
  • Avoid Distracted Driving. The focus always should be on driving. Avoid using cellphones, texting, eating, and using in-vehicle technologies.
  • Don't drive impaired. Increased DUI enforcement from July 2 to July 5.
  • Watch for more pedestrians and bikes. Warm temperatures mean more people are outside walking or bicycling. Slow down and pay extra attention at crosswalks and along roadways.
  • 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.
  • Obey all posted speed limits. Or drive slower, if necessary, based on weather or traffic conditions.
  • Maintain proper tire air pressure. Warmer temperatures can cause tires to be overinflated.
  • Turn your lights on. Especially during twilight hours, making it easier for other drivers to see you.
  • Large vehicles tend to drive slower speeds. Be prepared to slow down, stay out of their blind spots, pay close attention to turn signals and give them extra space to maneuver.