I-70 closed from Vail to Denver | VailDaily.com

I-70 closed from Vail to Denver

Chris Outcalt and Matt Zalaznicknewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado
Colorado Department of Transportation. This photo of Vail Pass was taken by a CDOT camera around 8 p.m. Friday

VAIL, Colorado Interstate 70 was closed Friday afternoon between East Vail and the outskirts of Denver. The Colorado Department of Transportation closed the freeway around 4:20 p.m. due to heavy snow and crashes. “There are accidents all throughout that stretch,” said Ryan Drake, spokesman for Colorado Department of Transportation. “What it’s doing is not allowing any plows to get through.”He said the highway was closed indefinitely to allow the snowplows to get through and for the accidents to be cleared.The phones at the office Highline Sports & Entertainment an organizer of this weekend’s Spring Back to Vail festival rang a lot on Friday, said Natalie Fandrey, a spokeswoman.People were concerned about the drive and when they should leave, Fandrey said. Front Rangers always make up a big part of the crowds at Spring Back to Vail, she said. We hope if they cant make it tonight theyll head up tomorrow, she said. Fridays storm wont have any effect on the weekends events, Fandrey said. Hopefully well have a sunny day tomorrow, she said. The Salvation Army opened an emergency in Vail’s municipal building at 7 p.m. Friday for stranded travelers. There is free parking and the shelter is open to anyone who needs a warm place to stay until Vail Pass is reopened, the town says. Motorists are discouraged from remaining in their vehicles due to the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning. Free parking is also available in the Vail Village and Lionshead parking garages until the pass is reopened. Motorists are advised to avoid parking on the South Frontage Roads in Vail during the closure. Eastbound traffic on the South Frontage Road is being limited to local traffic only. For the latest road condition information, call (970) 479-2226 or dial 511, watch cable channel 10 or listen to local radio. The interstate is closed from exit 180 in East Vail to exit 259 in Morrison. Authorities say travel between Vail and Denver is “strongly discouraged.”The American Red Cross has opened two shelters in Silverthorne and Frisco in Summit County to help stranded travelers. There no immediate reports of injuries or deaths.There also is a shelter open in Idaho Springs.More than a foot of wet, heavy snow Friday closed several highways and canceled flights in parts of Colorado and Wyoming on Friday, snarling traffic and forcing school closures and flight cancellations.Up to 3 feet snow was expected by Saturday night in the mountains above 6,000 feet, forecasters said.The Department of Transportation did not say when I-70 might reopen. The Summit Daily News and the Associated Press contributed to this report

For road conditions, visit http://www.cotrip.org

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