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Spring forward into...winter!

March 8, 2013 - Southwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 5 - Storm predicted to bring up to 2 feet of snow on some passes, heavy snow in a short period of time.

ROAD CONDITION/CLOSURE INFORMATION: To find the conditions and closures, log onto our traveler information site at www.cotrip.org or call 511 from anywhere in the state. Better yet, sign up to receive wireless text alerts and/or e-mails about road conditions on our web site at www.coloradodot.info (see the green phone icon in the upper right-hand corner).

WESTERN SLOPE & SOUTH-CENTRAL COLORADO – “Everyone is out there, they’re ready to roll,” said CDOT Maintenance Area Forman Ross Hamilton. Maintenance patrols in Hamilton’s area include the US 160 Wolf Creek Pass patrol, where four to five plow trucks will be out at any given time during this quick storm, which is expected to dump up to 21 inches on the pass before Saturday evening.

“It’s hard to say if we’ll actually get that much snow, but we’re ready for it,” Hamilton said.

According to forecasters with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, storm totals are expected to be in the 1- to 2-foot range by Sunday morning on all passes. Moderate winds will contribute to blowing and drifting snow; CDOT expect this wind will impact the valley areas (Grand, Animas, Arkansas and San Luis valleys), which are likely to receive wetter snowfall that will freeze overnight and make for some potentially icy commutes tomorrow morning. Sunny skies are in the forecast for Sunday and into the beginning of next week.

Here is a look at snow and CDOT activity on the northwestern and southwestern passes:

SH 17 Cumbres/La Manga – Three CDOT plows out during each 12-hour shift. Light snowfall should begin early this afternoon (at US 160 Wolf Creek, US 160 La Veta and US 50 Monarch passes as well) and will really kick in later this afternoon and this evening.

SH 65 Grand Mesa/Grand Junction Area – One to two plow trucks out during a storm; from one to two feet of snow is expected here. With possibly .5-inches of wet snow in the valley and possible rain, Grand Junction area drivers can expect some icy commutes in the morning.

US 50 Monarch Pass - Two to three CDOT plows will be out on over-lapping, continuous 8-hour shifts on Monarch.

SH 145 Lizard Head Pass – Three to four CDOT plows out during each 8-hour shift.

160 La Veta Pass – Two CDOT plows out on each rotating 8-hour shift.

US 160 Wolf Creek Pass – Four to six CDOT plow trucks out (depending upon magnitude of storm) on each 12-hour shift.

US 550 – Coal Bank, Molas & Red Mtn. passes – At least four plows out during storm shifts, which can vary from 8 to 12-hour shifts on these passes.

CDOT reminds motorists to have appropriate snow tires on their vehicles and to know the conditions (including potential road closures) before heading out. Go to www.cotrip.org and also consult CDOT’s Winter Driving web page for tips and safety measures:  http://www.coloradodot.info/travel/winter-driving.

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