Winter Driving Assistance Programs

Heavy Tow

Heavy TowCDOT’s Heavy Tow or Quick Clearance winter program provides standby heavy wreckers at strategic locations along I-70, between Floyd Hill and Vail Pass, allowing stalled and spun-out commercial vehicles to be moved quickly from traffic lanes to a safe location. This program, which began in 2008, continues to be successful at reducing traffic congestion and delays along the Interstate 70 West corridor. Quick Clearance begins each year during the Thanksgiving weekend and ends in late April.  It can also be implemented during holidays or other occasions, such as severe storms.  Before implementation of the Quick Clearance program, the average time to clear a commercial vehicle from a traffic lane was approximately 50 minutes.


  • November-2018-April 2019
    • 331 commercial vehicles relocated
    • 442 lanes cleared
    • Average Clearance time: 22.5 minutes

The program provides benefits that far outweigh the cost, which is about $500,000 a year.  Studies have shown that for every hour the I-70 West Corridor is closed to traffic, it can have an economic impact of up to $800,000, with a majority of those revenues affecting surrounding communities.

Winter Season # of CMVs Relocated # of Lanes Cleared Average Clearance Time (min)
2010-2011 193 214 N/a
2011-2012 159 209 N/a
2012-2013 155 194 N/a
2013-2014 293 361 N/a
*2014-2015 415 481 21
2015 321 402 28
2016-2017 339 425 25
**2017-2018 178 226 33

*First year of year-round service, **Thru 4/30