News

CDOT Crews Prepared for Upcoming Storm

November 10, 2015 - Denver Metro/CDOT Region 1 - DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is readying for the first significant snowstorm to hit the Front Range this season.

Maintenance crews have stocked ice removal products and are set to go on snow-shift later today or tonight. 

 “We’re ready to keep the roads are open and safe, with our crews working around the clock until the storm has passed through the state,” said CDOT’s Director of Maintenance Operations Kyle Lester.  “We’re reminding drivers to slow down when driving on wet or snowy roads and to give our plows room to get the road cleared."

The National Weather Service is predicting “a winter storm to move across Colorado tonight into Wednesday. There will be significant snow over the mountains and northeast Colorado, with blizzard conditions over the northeast plains.”

BY THE NUMBERS

Denver & areas east, west, north and south:Maintenance patrols begin 12-hour snow shifts at 3 p.m. and will continue on these shifts until the snow event is over and roadways are clear. Over 100 pieces of snow removal equipment will be utilized during this snow event.

Colorado Springs/Pueblo/Southeastern Colorado:Maintenance patrols will begin snow shifts in areas expected to receive snow late this evening, primarily west and north of Colorado Springs.  This region will have, as conditions warrant, approximately 88 trucks patrolling the highways at any one time. 

Greeley/Fort Collins/Northeastern Colorado:Maintenance patrols begin snow shift late tonight.  About 135 plows will be covering this area of the state during each 12-hour shift. 

Grand Junction/West Central and Northwest Colorado:Maintenance patrols are currently on 12-hour snow shifts.  More than 140 maintenance employees will be out on each shift at a time with access to 196 snow plows. 

Durango/San Luis Valley/Southwestern Colorado: Maintenance patrols are on snow shift in the higher mountain areas, with 45 pieces of snow removal equipment activated.

AVOID A FINE!  Motorists should be aware the Traction Law andPassenger Vehicle Chain Law could be implemented if conditions require it.  When either law is in effect, highway signage will be activated.

  • Traction Law  Motorists will need snow tires, tires with mud/snow (M/S) designation, or a four-wheel drive vehicle — all tires must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread.
  • Passenger Vehicle Chain Law  Every vehicle on the roadway must have chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock).

Without proper equipment, you can be fined $130. If your vehicle blocks the roadway, you could be fined more than $650.

WINTER TRAVEL TIPS:

ROAD CONDITION/CLOSURE INFORMATION: To find roadway conditions and closures, log onto CDOT’s 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 website, www.codot.gov

Ø  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 Mountain Corridor travel, go here: http://goi70.com/.

Ø 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.

Ø 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.

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

Ø 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 deicer.

Ø 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.

Ø 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.

Ø 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.

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

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