Travel Center

Winter Operations

Whether you live along the front range or in the high country, snowy conditions are inevitable during Colorado’s winter season. CDOT has a well-equipped team and the required resources to deploy when winter weather hits. 

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The Work

To keep roads safe during winter weather, CDOT:  

  • Dispatches 950 maintenance trucks when winter storms approach 
  • Maintains, repairs and removes snow from 23,000 total lane miles of state highways 
  • Plows the equivalent of 6 million lane miles each year

The Cost 

Plowing snow and keeping Colorado roads safe during winter weather conditions comes at a price. CDOT spends about $69 million annually on snow removal alone. The tasks associated with winter operations are hefty and require funds for snow removal equipment and maintenance, supplies for treating the roadways, wages for employees, and more.  

The Team

Curious who clears Colorado’s snowy and icy winter roads?

  • CDOT operations teams include 1,800 trained personnel who work to clear Colorado’s highways and roadways 
  • CDOT operations personnel work around the clock – 12-hour shifts to be exact – and don’t stop until all routes are clear and safe to drive

Fritz Homann – Operations Manager, CDOT I-70 Mountain Corridor

  • Fritz and his team monitor travel on the I-70 mountain corridor 24 hours a day to gather, verify, and deliver information on road, weather, and incident conditions. Fritz works with CDOT maintenance, Colorado State Patrol, project engineers and municipal responders to mitigate the effects of weather and incidents.
  • “Once you see a truck driver putting chains on his semi during a winter storm wearing Bermuda shorts and flip-flops, your worldview changes.” – Fritz

Fritz Homann

John Lorme – Director, CDOT Division of Maintenance and Operations (DMO)

  • John and his staff at the DMO provide CDOT's maintenance and traffic section with the resources they need to safely manage 28 billion miles of annual vehicle travel throughout state. The DMO offers strategic oversight of highway maintenance and operations as well as the safety and preservation of Colorado’s bridges, tunnels, mountain passes, maintenance and traffic sections. John oversees the plowing of 6 million lane miles annually, as well as snow and ice operations that monitor and mitigate avalanche paths.
  • John loves to ski; however, working for CDOT means there is little time for it. “Because the most intense and important maintenance operations are winter maintenance operations.” – John

John Lorme

Nick Barlow – Winter Operations Meteorologist, CDOT 

  • Nick is responsible for monitoring weather conditions year-round throughout Colorado. He plays a crucial role in disseminating hazardous weather intelligence to CDOT maintenance personnel, traffic operations centers, communications officers and executive management.
  • A lifelong skier and snow lover, Nick honed his mountain weather skills working in southeast Alaska as a heliskiing guide, and eventually as a backcountry avalanche forecaster for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).

Nick Barlow

Patrick Chavez – Statewide Traffic Incident Management Program Coordinator, CDOT

  • Working with CDOT personnel and several partner agencies, Pat helps develop procedures for safe and quick incident clearance. During statewide winter storms, he works in the CDOT Statewide Emergency Operations Center to support winter operations throughout the CDOT maintenance regions. 
  • Pat retired from the U.S. Army as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and has traveled to more than 60 countries. 

Pat Chavez

Rod Mead – Floor Manager, Colorado Traffic Management Center (CTMC) 

  • As the CTMC Floor Manager, Rod oversees CDOT's Traffic Operations Center located in Golden, CO. Rod leads a group of CDOT personnel that monitor statewide road conditions 24 hours a day to report traffic information that results in instant alerts that many people receive to their phones and other online systems.
  • Rod was a radio personality before joining CDOT.

Rod Mead

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For each individual storm, CDOT begins preparing as soon as winter weather appears in the forecast. However, CDOT plans ahead to remain ready for snowy conditions year-round. For more information on what happens when the forecast calls for snow, visit our Snow Removal FAQs page.

CDOT regularly monitors the local weather forecast to determine the severity of winter weather. This allows the winter operations team time to plan for the type and quantity of equipment and crew members needed.

Taxpayer dollars are spent on:


Colorado: The Official State Web Portal