News

More Traffic Ahead

July 2, 2021 - Statewide News - July Fourth holiday traditional start of high traffic season

DENVER – Drivers should expect more vehicles on the state’s highways over the next few days as people travel in higher numbers for the Fourth of July weekend.

To minimize traffic impacts, the Colorado Department of Transportation is suspending construction and maintenance projects from midday Friday until Tuesday, July 6.  The only exception is for emergency operations.  

It is critical for motorists to be prepared before heading out the door.  Please check the latest weather and road reports, make sure you have plenty of food and water and your vehicle is in good driving condition,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “While we do everything possible to keep the roads safe, weather and road conditions, especially in our mountain corridors, can change drastically and very quickly with possible wildfires, flooding and rockfalls. Give yourself some extra time and slow down, particularly when driving through construction zones. We want everyone to have a safe holiday.”

Independence Day traditionally marks the start of the high traffic season, with summer tourism hitting its peak over the next six to seven weeks.  CDOT is asking drivers to engage in safe driving practices (see below), especially with more vehicles hitting the road. 

Prior to the pandemic, a typical Fourth of July holiday weekend saw a significant amount of traffic travel through the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels, such as in 2019:

 

Westbound

Eastbound

Total

Wednesday, July 3

32,595

17,329

49,924

Thursday, July 4

23,761

16,204

39,965

Friday, July 5

24,214

25, 214

49,428

Saturday, July 6

21,143

33,030

54,173

Sunday, July 7

20,527

31,093

51,620

Total

122,240

122,870

245,110

     

      Traffic numbers were lower in 2020, when Safer at Home directives were in effect:

 

Westbound

Eastbound

Total

Thursday, July 2

30,807

17,362

48,169

Friday, July 3

31,164

18,776

49,940

Saturday, July 4

16,390

18,494

34,884

Sunday, July 5

16,451

32,491

48,942

Monday, July 6

17,231

24,153

41,384

Total

112,043

111,276

223,319

 

Motorists are strongly encouraged to check on the status of the state’s roadways before traveling by viewing www.cotrip.org, CDOT’s Facebook page or twitter feed, or by calling 511. Additional information regarding Interstate 70 west of Denver is available at www.goI70.com. Please also see the attached FAQ on traveling through Glenwood Canyon.

Be Safe - Be Prepared - For Summer Driving

  1. Stay Alert.  Plan enough time to stop along the way to stretch, get something to eat and drink, return any calls or text messages, and change drivers if you are feeling tired or drowsy.
  2. Avoid Distracted Driving The focus always should be on driving.  Avoid using cellphones, texting, eating, and using in-vehicle technologies.
  3. Do NOT drive impaired.  Increased DUI enforcement from July 2 to July 5. 
  4. Watch for more pedestrians and bikes. Warm temperatures mean more people are outside walking or bicycling.  Slow down and pay extra attention at crosswalks and along roadways.
  5. Share the road with motorcycles Motorcycles may quickly come in and out of your blind spots due to their speed and size. Always take a second look with more motorcycles out on the road.
  6. Obey all posted speed limits. If necessary, drive slower, based on weather or traffic conditions.
  7. Maintain proper tire air pressure Warmer temperatures can cause tires to be overinflated.
  8. Turn your lights on Especially during twilight hours, making it easier for other drivers to see you. 
  9. Large vehicles tend to drive slower speeds Be prepared to slow down, stay out of their blind spots, pay close attention to turn signals and give them extra space to maneuver.