CDOT Prepares for Winter Storm


Highway 287/385 Southbound During Winter Snow

Highway 287/385 Southbound During Winter Snow

Drivers urged to check conditions, get snow tires mounted, take it slow.

STATEWIDE — As the storm moves into the high country later this afternoon, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) crews across the state have prepped vehicles and are scheduled on round-the-clock storm patrol shifts. For the I-70 mountain corridor (Golden to Dotsero), the incident management team is ready to employ numerous strategies to help motorists travel the interstate safely.

“Our crews are set to do their jobs, getting travelers up to the mountains and back home with a variety of information sources, plow escorts, emergency management patrols, traffic management and more,” CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt said. “We are asking for the same level of preparedness from drivers. We cannot stress enough the need for folks to know the conditions, prepare their vehicles with good snow tires and topped up fluids, and drive for the conditions. That means if I-70 is experiencing snow-packed conditions, we’re going to be slowing drivers down so they can get to their destinations safely.”

Southeast/CDOT Region 2

  • As many as 151 plows will be out, as warranted.
  • Snowfall accumulation in the south/southeast area is expected to range from 7-14 inches.
  • “Our employees will be working around the clock to help keep our highways safe and clear as much as possible,” CDOT Maintenance Superintendent Adam Padilla said. “To ensure our plow drivers can do their job, we need the help of the traveling public to give our plows room and to drive appropriately for conditions.”
  • “The Fairplay area could be a concern if the winds kick up. Visibility can be notoriously bad through South Park when it’s windy and can lead to road closures to maintain public safety,” added Padilla. “But anywhere along the Front Range and I-25 corridor and southeastern plains could be problem areas as well if we get a combination of snow and wind.”
  • Ø  Be sure you have good snow tires. How do you know if you need new snow tires? 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.

    Ø  Always keep the top half of your gas tank full. It can give you better traction and gives you a bigger margin of error if you get stuck and have to keep the engine running periodically to keep warm.

    Ø  If you are stuck in a serious storm do not leave your car. Run the engine periodically and wait for help.

    Ø  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, an ice scraper and lock deicer.

    Ø  Remember that 4-wheel drive does not mean 4-wheel stop. A 4-wheel drive vehicle will not stop any better in icy conditions, especially if you have inadequate snow tires.

    Ø  Know the chain laws. Chain restrictions in Colorado are most often put into effect for commercial vehicles (semi-trailer trucks) and do not usually affect passenger vehicles.

    Ø  Drive for the conditions. In poor visibility or even whiteout conditions, don’t drive faster than you can see ahead. High speeds in poor or no visibility can lead to large chain reaction accidents.

    Ø  In addition to these winter driving tips, CDOT reminds all motorists to respect winter weather, conduct a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle, and leave extra space between your automobile and others on the road (including plow trucks). Of course, always buckle up! 

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