Heavy tow, chain assistance and courtesy patrol services are again available to motorists on Interstate 70, as the Colorado Department of Transportation kicked off all three programs over the Thanksgiving holiday.
The programs are intended to keep traffic moving and maintain safety along the corridor through the variable conditions of the winter season.
The courtesy patrol program began Friday, providing free roadside assistance for minor vehicle problems such as flat tires, fuel or water transfers, jump starts, accident scene protection and short-distance towing for passenger and other small vehicles on weekends through the winter, according to a CDOT release.
"These programs have been effective at reducing congestion and delay times on the I-70 corridor," CDOT regional director Tony DeVito stated in the release. "We're also reminding drivers to do their part by keeping their vehicles ready for winter travel."
Courtesy patrol usually runs on weekends - Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. - and over holidays through the end of March.
The heavy tow program aims to quickly move large trucks from the highway, with heavy wreckers standing by at strategic locations to respond quickly when needed. Up to five wreckers owned by United States Auto Club can be sent out to help remove commercial vehicles from traffic lanes to safer locations on holidays and weekends during the winter.
Heavy tow coverage began last weekend and continues every weekend through April 28, usually from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and 2-10 p.m. on Sundays and some holidays.
CDOT will also offer chain assistance again this year, allowing drivers to purchase chains and chain-up service when approved vendors are present at one of the 21 chain stations along Interstate 70, according to a release from transportation officials. State law requires commercial vehicles to carry chains when traveling between Dotsero and Morrison on the I-70 mountain corridor between September and May.