Flakes have started to fall in northern Colorado and the Denver metro area. Heavy accumulation in many areas of the state is expected with snowfall rates of one to two inches an hour in some areas of northeast Colorado overnight.
Motorists are highly encouraged to avoid travel between the hours of midnight and 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26. The storm is expected to move out of the state in the afternoon hours on Tuesday. If possible, consider delaying your commute or holiday travel.
Up-to-date road condition and closure information can be found at cotrip.org. Motorists who must travel should be prepared for possible closures on roadways including the I-25 corridor, I-70 headed west to the mountains, I-70 east and I-76 on the eastern plains, as well all mountain passes. Have emergency kits in your car. If you get caught in a closure, it may be several hours before someone can get to you. Have adequate supplies and medication for you and all those traveling with you, including pets, to last 24 hours.
Snow totals from this storm will be impressive. Larimer County could be measuring snow in the feet. The north end of Denver Metro could see 10 to 16 inches, while south Denver metro may see seven to 11 inches. Palmer Divide and I-25 South Gap project could see six to ten inches. With Thanksgiving around the corner and increased volume of travelers on the road, it is important to not only know road conditions where you are, but also where you are going.
The National Weather Service advises, “Conditions will NOT be favorable for the busy holiday travel period leading up to, during, and after Thanksgiving, especially in the mountains.” The NWS also urges travelers to stay tuned to the latest and updated forecasts on developing winter storms throughout the holiday week.
WHAT CDOT IS DOING STATEWIDE
Across the state, where roads and highways are being impacted by accumulating snow, maintenance crews have been assigned to ‘round-the-clock snow shifts beginning Monday morning.
All available resources will be utilized. Some areas of the state have already started pretreating roadways to prevent snow and ice from bonding to pavement surfaces.
As snowfall rates increase, crews will focus on primary roads and reduce levels of service on secondary roads in an effort to reduce impacts to the main highways. Road closures for safety reasons are possible depending on conditions.
WHAT MOTORISTS SHOULD DO
Due to colder temperatures throughout the duration of the storm, expect slick and icy conditions. Impacts are expected during the Tuesday morning commute. Conditions can be treacherous during the brunt of the storm, and CDOT urges motorists to limit driving while it is snowing. However, if you must drive during the storm, keep these tips in mind:
Drive slowly and reduce your speed.
Do not follow the car in front of you too closely.
Do not pass the plows.
Know before you go and take responsibility for your own safety. Check cotrip.org for the latest road conditions before heading out.
Make sure your car is prepared for winter conditions with the proper tires, a snow scraper, and other necessary items. Utilize this winter driving preparedness checklist for everything you need to have in your vehicle.
INCREASED TRAFFIC AND WORK ZONES
Traffic on Interstate 70 west typically increases on Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving, with westbound traffic expected to be heavier than normal through Friday, November 29, primarily from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Heavy traffic should be anticipated on eastbound I-70 Saturday and Sunday, especially between Vail and the Denver area from late morning until late afternoon.
Traffic on the I-25 corridor is also expected to be high this Thanksgiving holiday, especially due to the number of large shopping areas located along the Front Range corridor.
To reduce potential delays, most CDOT construction projects will be suspended statewide by Wednesday afternoon, November 27. Projects will resume their regular schedules on Monday, December 2. Projects located in rural or low-traffic areas may be operating Friday.
While most construction work will be suspended over the holiday, motorists are urged to drive with extra care through work zones, take it slow and leave a safe distance behind the vehicle ahead. The root causes of fatalities on the road are speeding, drunk driving and reckless driving.
Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:
CDOT road conditions and travel information: www.COtrip.org
CDOT travel alerts: bit.ly/COalerts
CDOT Social media: Twitter @coloradodot and Facebook facebook.com/coloradodot