Hazardous travel conditions expected to continue into Monday across the state | VailDaily.com

Hazardous travel conditions expected to continue into Monday across the state

CDOT, CSP officials continue to urge drivers to stay off the roads

Trucks and cars sit on Interstate 70 at Floyd Hill on Sunday due to spun-out vehicles ahead. (Colorado Department of Transportation, Special to the Daily)

Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol are again warning drivers that hazardous travel conditions will continue through the night and likely into Monday morning.

CDOT crews are concentrating their efforts across the state on clearing primary routes first, such as interstates, U.S. highways and state highways, according to a news release sent before 7 p.m. Sunday. Drivers should be aware that secondary roadways will be heavily snow packed making for hazardous driving conditions.

“CDOT’s maintenance personnel and plow fleet have been out in full force for the past two days,” CDOT’s maintenance and operations director John Lorme said in the news release. “Snow plows and heavy equipment will continue to clear primary routes like I-70 and I-25 throughout the night. This means secondary routes may not be addressed until Monday morning, when crews have an opportunity to shift their focus there.”

Officials are advising those driving to Denver from Colorado’s high country keep a close watch on the weather and road conditions.

“Even as the storm subsides, travel across the state will be extremely challenging on Monday morning,” said Colorado State Patrol’s Matthew Packard in the news release. “If you are driving to Denver from the high country, plan your trip for late morning or afternoon. If you are unable to work from home, plan for extra time for your commute. Taking a slow and cautious approach will help you experience a smoother, easier journey.”

While modest snow has fallen in Eagle County from the storm, the state has closed offices in Denver and surrounding counties to keep many commuters off the snowy roads.

“Keeping off the roads whenever possible is the surest way to stay out of harm’s way during this storm,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “CDOT and CSP appreciate the cooperation from the public in keeping traffic volumes low this weekend. This has been critical to allowing CDOT crews to respond and will help us get the roads cleared faster.”

Many road closures are currently in place and more closures can be expected into Sunday night. The National Weather Service forecasts high winds for many areas in the state that will cause blowing snow and low visibility, especially along the eastern plains. Snow packed roads, icy surfaces and low visibility will also continue well into Sunday evening along I-70, I-25 and other highway corridors in the foothills and the Front Range.

Visit COtrip.org for up-to-date conditions and closure information.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning through 6 a.m. Monday morning.

At Denver International Airport, more than 2,000 flights have been canceled over the weekend, according to The Associated Press.

7 things to know

  • Several roads in the state remain closed Sunday night due to hazardous winter weather and driving conditions. For the latest list, visit COtrip.org.
  • High winds and blowing snow have made conditions worse. Avoid the I-25 South Gap between south Denver and Monument, I-25 north of Denver, and the I-70 Mountain Corridor. All roads should be avoided.
  • When a road closes, alternate routes will likely be in worse shape.
  • CDOT crews have been out in force plowing roads, focusing on clearing the primary routes such as I-25, I-70 and impacted interstates. Plows will continue to make multiple passes on these roads during the storm and will not be able to address the secondary routes until the worst of the storm has passed. This means many roadways are heavily snow packed–making for hazardous driving conditions.
  • During a significant and high impact snow storm, travel should be limited to emergency and essential reasons only, with the proper vehicle and tires for heavy snow. Do not attempt to drive in severe weather conditions unless you have the appropriate tires with good tread. If you are out in the storm, have an emergency kit with blankets, food, batteries, water, a shovel and survival supplies should you get stuck or stranded.
  • It’s best to stay off the roads during a heavy snow event.
  • Bow to the plow! Motorists should leave ample distance behind the vehicle ahead and not pass plows.

For more information on preparing for the snow, chain and traction laws and other winter storm related guidance, visit winter.codot.gov.

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