Travel

Winter storm will cause difficult travel, especially over mountain passes – Colorado Department of Transportation

Winter storm will cause difficult travel, especially over mountain passes – Colorado Department of Transportation

Colorado—Another round of wintry weather is expected this weekend. The National Weather Service predicts heavy snow accumulations for the mountains of western and southwestern Colorado. Snow is expected to form over the mountains this afternoon and continue through Sunday evening or Monday morning. Dangerous road conditions are expected, especially on mountain passes.

The Denver area will also receive a mix of rain and snow over the weekend, which will create difficult driving conditions for subway motorists. The heaviest snow accumulations on the Front Range will be in areas of the foothills that typically receive more snowfall. CDOT is urging travelers to exercise caution, be patient and allow themselves more time with increased ski traffic returning from the mountains to Denver on Sunday. Monday morning commuters should follow the same advice.

The CDOT teams are ready and prepared for the winter wave of the weekend. CDOT crews began 24/7 snow shifts today and will clear snow and treat roads as needed. Once the storm has passed, periodic road closures on mountain passes can be expected to allow for avalanche mitigation operations, possibly early next week.

Traveling During Snowstorms

  • Avoid or limit driving during the height of the snowstorm.
  • Check weather forecasts and road conditions frequently.
  • If you must travel, make sure your vehicle is winterized with the proper tires and an emergency snow kit.
  • Once you are on the road, go slowly, avoid sudden stops and leave enough distance between vehicles.
  • Give space to the plows! Stay four car lengths away from plows. Never pass the plows on the right.

Know before you go

Travelers are urged to “inquire before you go”. Gather information on weather forecasts, anticipated travel impacts, and current road conditions before you hit the road. CDOT resources include:

  • Travel webpage: COtrip.org
  • Mobile app: COtrip Planner
  • Check the avalanche conditions at the CAIC: avalanche.state.co.us
  • Road and weather hotlines: 511 or 303-639-1111
  • Sign up for project or trip alerts: bit.ly/COalerts
  • Subscribe to construction updates and press releases: subscription.cotrip.org
  • Follow social networks: Twitter @coloradodot and Facebook facebook.com/coloradodot

Chain and traction laws

When weather and road conditions deteriorate, CDOT will activate traction and chain laws for passenger and utility vehicles. Motorists are alerted to active and current pull or chain laws by road signs, COtrip.org, and traffic/road condition alerts. For more information on the Traction Act and Passenger Vehicle Chain Act requirements, visit codot.gov/travel/winter-driving/tractionlaw. For more information on Commercial Vehicle Chain Act requirements, visit codot.gov/travel/colorado-chain-law. For more information and helpful tips for winter driving, visit winter.codot.gov.

Watch where you park

Backcountry users and recreational enthusiasts are urged to “watch where you park!” The first priority for CDOT maintenance crews is to clear the highway traffic lanes. Once completed, crews will clear the shoulders of the roadway and parking areas as time and resources allow. Remember to park only in clearly marked and designated parking areas. Anyone who leaves a vehicle unattended on the side of the road runs the risk of breaking the law, being fined and being towed away by law enforcement. (Download the brochure: “Watch where you park”)

Avalanche forecast information

Backcountry users are urged to check avalanche conditions on the CAIC website: www.avalanche.state.co.us.