2 Ways CDOT Hopes To Ease I-70 Mountain Traffic This Winter

November 6, 2015
Photo: Interstate 70 traffic I-70 (AP Photo)
Traffic along Interstate 70 slows to a crawl due to an earlier tanker leaking on U.S. Highway 6 over Loveland Pass in a file photo.

CDOT says the 13-mile toll lane between Empire and Idaho Springs should open in mid-December, using the eastbound shoulder of the highway as an extra lane during peak travel times.

The cost to use the toll lane will range from a few dollars up to $40, depending on how much traffic is on the road, CDOT says. It’s guaranteeing speeds of about 40 mph in the lane, which should save up to a half- hour of travel time.

Colorado also plans to step up enforcement of traction laws for passenger vehicles during winter storms in the mountain stretches of the I-70 corridor.

The state transportation department hopes the heightened attention will lead to less traffic snarls caused by vehicles with bad tires. Violators could be fined $130, or $650 if they block the highway.

When a storm triggers the traction law, passenger vehicles must have snow tires --  tires with the mud/snow designation -- or a four-wheel drive. The tires must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread.

Last year the state launched an education campaign encouraging motorists to replace bald tires. CDOT says that campaign helped reduce weather-related crashes.