News

CDOT Patrols Ready for Storm Hitting Denver, Boulder and I-70 Mountain Corridor

November 10, 2014 - Denver Metro Colorado/CDOT Region 1 - Some light snow expected elsewhere in the high country – drivers encouraged to prepare vehicles for winter travel.

DENVER/I-70 WEST MTN. CORRIDOR – Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) maintenance personnel are scheduled to go on snow shifts today, as the first significant snowfall hits the Front Range. The storm is expected to be a bit unpredictable, with periods of snow and then clear weather. For this reason, motorists are urged to check conditions and be prepared for winter driving.

“Although it’s been a mild fall thus far, we are more than prepared to battle winter weather this week,” said CDOT Deputy Director of Maintenance Mike O’Neill, who oversees the Denver metro area and the western portion of the Interstate 70 corridor between Idaho Springs and Vail Pass. “We will have maintenance crews on snow shifts to ensure our roadways are safe for motorists.”

The following highlights crews and equipment for the areas receiving the most snowfall:

Denver Metro Area:
There will be a total of 268 maintenance personnel operating up to 143 pieces of equipment on 12-hour snow removal shifts throughout the storm event.

Boulder/Loveland/Greeley/Frederick:
There will be a total of 120 maintenance personnel operating up to 58 pieces of equipment on 12-hour snow removal shifts throughout the storm event.

I-70 Mountain Corridor East of Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel:
There will be a total of 30 maintenance personnel operating up to 30 pieces of equipment on snow removal shifts throughout the storm event.

I-70 Mountain Corridor West of Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel:
There will be up to 19 maintenance personnel operating up to 25 pieces of equipment on each of the three 8-hour snow shifts throughout the storm event. Plow trucks will focus on the I-70 stretch through Straight Creek (MM 205 to 218), with another five trucks each for the Vail and West Vail corridors.

“We have more plow trucks and drivers gearing up to provide the best customer service we can,” said Jared Morgan, a maintenance patrol supervisor in Summit County. “We’d like to remind motorists to take their time, leave extra room behind our plow trucks and let us clear the way. And please have vehicles well prepared for these winter events—snow tires are a must.”

 

Outside Denver Metro & I-70 West:

Outside the storm’s focus, maintenance crews in other areas of the state are on-call, should conditions warrant extended patrol hours. Rain and some lighter snow can be expected in higher elevations. With temperatures dropping overnight, motorists should be prepared for some icy driving in the morning, particularly on bridges, ramps and through shady canyons.

Current road and weather conditions are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via reports and traffic cameras on the www.cotrip.org web site or by calling 511.  Information also is available via text alerts and/or e-mails. Please visitwww.coloradodot.info and click on the cell-phone icon in the upper right-hand corner.  The link takes you to a list of subscription items.

WINTER TRAVEL TIPS:

  • Log on to CDOT’s Winter Driving web page at: http://www.coloradodot.info/travel/winter-driving for road conditions winter driving tips and other information; or for I-70 West, please see http://www.coloradodot.info/travel/winter-driving/I-70WestTrafficMgmt.html.

  • Be sure you have good snow tires. How do you know if you need new snow tires? Insert a quarter into the tire tread upside down, with Washington’s head going in first; if the top of George’s head is covered by the tread, your tires are OK (do this test in multiple points around each tire.) If the top of his head is visible at any point, you need new tires.

  • Always keep the top half of your gas tank full. It can give you better traction and gives you a bigger margin of error if you get stuck and have to keep the engine running periodically to keep warm.

  • If you are stuck in a serious storm do not leave your car. Run the engine periodically and wait for help.

  • Carry blankets, water, a flashlight, a shovel, some nutrition bars or other food for sustenance. Winterize your vehicle's safety kit by including extra blankets, sand to help gain traction in the event you become stuck on ice or snow, jumper cables, an ice scraper and lock de-icer.

  • Remember that 4-wheel drive does not mean 4-wheel stop. A 4-wheel drive vehicle will not stop any better in icy conditions, especially if you have inadequate snow tires.

  • Know the chain laws. Chain restrictions in Colorado are most often put into effect for commercial vehicles (semi-trailer trucks) and do not usually affect passenger vehicles.

  • Drive for the conditions. In poor visibility or even whiteout conditions, don't drive faster than you can see ahead. High speeds in poor or no visibility can lead to large chain reaction accidents.

  • In addition to these winter driving tips, CDOT reminds all motorists to respect winter weather, conduct a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle, leave extra space between your automobile and others on the road (including plow trucks). Of course, always buckle up!

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