Vail Pass included in latest winter storm warning
Several inches of snow expected at higher elevations, along with strong winds
The Colorado Department of Transportation is advising motorists to prepare for snow and winter driving conditions on the Interstate 70 mountain corridor and across Northwest Colorado from Thursday night through Friday morning.
Motorists doing essential travel should expect 5-9 inches of snow at the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnels and Vail Pass on I-70 as well as at Berthoud Pass and Rabbit Ears Pass on U.S. Highway 40. There will be high winds in certain areas and heavy snow is also forecast for State Highway 14 over Cameron Pass.
Travelers should also plan for a lane closure on eastbound I-70 in the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnels, due to emergency roadwork. CDOT crews are prepared to remove snow and ice, and carry out other duties to maintain highway safety.
Motorists are urged to heed the current state stay-at-home order, particularly when it is snowing. The key priority for CDOT crews is to keep roads clear and plowed for essential freight and emergency services. Please note two parking areas along U.S. Highway 6 on Loveland Pass are closed in order to ensure safe passage for hazardous material vehicles. For the latest road conditions, go to http://www.COtrip.org.
Avoiding travel between cities and regions is an important part of limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus between different communities. People heading to the mountains should know that most camping is closed, picnic areas and facilities at some trailheads are not available and some backcountry parking lots are closed (or have limited capacity). Travelers should check beforehand for local closures and plan to avoid busy trailheads.
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CDOT urges travelers to be aware of chain and traction law codes before heading out on the roadway:
- Code 18/Commercial Chain Law: Commercial vehicles and trucks must have chains. Vehicles without chains can often lose traction, causing traffic delays and sometimes road closures. For the safety of the traveling public, it’s critical to use chains to be in compliance with Colorado’s chain law
- Code 15/Passenger Traction Law: All passenger vehicles must have appropriate all-weather tires with 3/16-inch depth. Vehicles must have one of the following: winter tires, tires with mud/snow (M+S) designation, chains or alternative traction devices such as an autosock. 4WD and AWD vehicles must have winter tires or all weather tires.
- Code 16/Passenger Chain Law: All passenger vehicles need chains, except for 4WD and AWD vehicles with all-weather tires with 3/16 inch tread depth.
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 winter driving tips downloadable flyer: WinterWise Driving Tips
- Road conditions and travel information: http://www.COtrip.org
- Chain and traction law information: http://www.codot.gov/admin/travel/winter-driving/tractionlaw
- Sign up for project or travel alerts: bit.ly/COalerts