The Colorado Department of Transportation is on standby to launch snow-plows on Interstate 70 with the first big snowstorm of the year expected to hit western Colorado.
"We're prepared for this one and ready to battle a lot more snow and ice over the next few months," said CDOT deputy maintenance superintendent Dave Miller, who overseas the western stretch of I-70. "All available resources will be up and operating, keeping the highways open and safe for travel this winter."
The storm is expected to deliver several inches of snow at the higher elevations in the Summit County area by Friday.
Sunny skies are expected to return on Saturday.
Transportation officials urged drivers to be ready for poor road conditions and to stay out of the way of snowplows at work on the highways.
"We're doing all we can to keep the traveling public safe, so please remember to give our snowplows enough room to clear the road when you're in the vicinity of our removal operations," CDOT deputy maintenance superintendent Al Martinez said. "Preparation's also crucial. Drivers should know what conditions to expect before they head out and have their vehicle ready for travel during adverse weather."
Summit County's CDOT maintenance area, which also includes Clear Creek County and portions of Grand County, has 45 snowplows, and a minimum of 20 of them operate around the clock during snowstorms.
Eight trucks apply de-icers while others carry sand/salt and ice slicer for added traction, according to a statement from CDOT.
Last winter, the area's crews plowed more than 350,000 miles of roadway, sprayed more than 900,000 gallons of de-icer and spent close to 6,000 manhours on snow-removal work, according to the statement.