Truckers getting more room to chain up
Vail, CO Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY ” Construction began this week on a $2.475 million effort to improve safety for truck drivers and reduce lane closures on Interstate 70 when the snow starts falling.
Crews are constructing 137 new parking spaces for semi truck drivers in Clear Creek and Summit counties, as well as putting up new signs to slow down other drivers near chain-up stations and signs to warn that the chain law is in effect.
The work is part of a package promised by the Colorado Department of Transportation in light of a beefed-up chain law that raises the fines for drivers who don’t abide by chain restrictions from $100 to a maximum of $1,000.
Last year, I-70 was closed a total of 119 hours due to truck spinouts, the department of transportation said.
The agency’s first priority is building the additional spaces for chaining up, 132 of which will be in Clear Creek county. Another five are planned in the truck pull-off just past the Silverthorne exit heading eastbound, transportation department engineer Saeed Sobhi said.
One of the most noticeable differences will be in the westbound Georgetown exit on the approach to the Eisenhower Tunnel, which will become a dual exit, meaning two lines of truck can park and put on chains at the same time, Sobhi said.
Spaces will also be added closer to Denver near the Denver West exit and the C470/I-70 interchange.
Other work will include signs that slow speed to 50 or 55 miles per hour in areas where chain-up stations are located.
That should all be done by Nov. 1, said Jeff Kullman, the regional transportation director.
“We know (winter) could start a little earlier than that. What we’ve tried to do is have the contractors start with locations higher up the hill first work their way down to lower elevations as much as they can,” Kullman said.
Also under the new law, truck drivers must carry chains in their vehicles from Sept. 1 to May 1 in Colorado.
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