CDOT: Winter storm along I-70 mountain corridor will make for treacherous driving this weekend
The Colorado Department of Transportation is asking motorists to avoid driving on the Interstate 70 mountain corridor this weekend because a winter storm expected to blow in Saturday morning.
Motorists should plan on difficult travel conditions in the mountains Saturday through Sunday night.
CDOT crews are out today pre-treating roads and will be fully deployed throughout the weekend to treat and plow roads. Motorists are asked to stay behind the plows, as that can often be safer than being in front of them.
CDOT asks motorists to please not drive on the I-70 mountain corridor if you they do not have tire tread that measures at least 1/8″, a four-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle, and/or chains or an alternative traction device. Motorists traveling on the corridor should expect longer drive times with the heaviest traffic going westbound Saturday and Sunday mornings, and eastbound Saturday and Sunday evenings.
The National Weather Service predicts lighter snow for the I-70 corridor from the Utah Line to Vail Pass and heavier accumulations from four inches to a foot of snow from Vail Pass to Morrison beginning late Saturday morning. Motorists should also prepare for snowy conditions on roads in the Denver metro area with four to ten inches expected in the foothills beginning Saturday evening.
CDOT urges motorists to take it slow when traveling to their destination and to follow these tips and guidelines:
Check your tires: Worn tires can’t grip the road well and can be extremely hazardous. Check your tires by performing the Quarter Test. 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. Invest in safety by getting a set of snow tires. When it comes to stopping safely on snow and ice, all-season tires simply don’t compare to winter tires. If your tires don’t have at least a one-eighth inch tread when a Traction Law is called, you are in violation of the law and could end up with a fine.
Leave extra room: Leave extra room between your vehicle and others on the road at all times. Even vehicles with four-wheel/all-wheel drive will not stop any quicker on icy roads, especially if you have inadequate tires.
Drive for conditions: In poor visibility, don’t drive faster than you can see ahead. High speeds in poor visibility can lead to dangerous chain reactions.
Bow to the plow: Snow plows need space to work, so unless you want to cause a crash, delays or be stuck on a snow-covered road, don’t crowd the plow! If you must pass a snowplow, do so on the left and with extreme caution.
Be I-70 smart: Check Goi70.com to see travel forecasts for the I-70 mountain corridor, road updates, rideshare and parking information, deals on lodging, food and entertainment for travelers and more. Remember to avoid peak travel times whenever possible and consider carpooling or alternative transportation.
Have a plan: If you are stuck in a serious storm, do not leave your car. Run the engine periodically and wait for help.
Prepare a winter driving vehicle kit: 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 and an ice scraper.
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