CDOT warns drivers of deteriorating weather conditions
The Colorado Department of Transportation on Friday urged motorists to consider going home earlier in the day as a winter storm began affecting travel across the state.
“Flash freezing conditions are a major concern as many of the interstates and highways may see rain that will quickly turn to snow or ice as temperatures are expected to drop rapidly,” CDOT said in a news release. “Wind gusts of 40-50 mph will result in blowing snow and poor visibility.”
A report early Friday evening said McClure Pass on Colorado 133 word be closed overnight because of avalanche danger.
Shailen Bhatt, CDOT executive director, said the storm “will be challenging to tackle because of all the different variables being introduced from rain, snow, flash freeze conditions and high winds. Our maintenance teams are out in full force and will use discretion and their expertise as to the appropriate product to use from our arsenal based on the conditions.”
On the Front Range, areas west of Interstate 25 could see heavy snow, slush and icy conditions, while east of I-25 may have snowfall with less moisture content. Heavy winds and low visibility should be expected throughout the state, the agency said.
In CDOT’s Region 3, covering northwestern Colorado including Garfield County, elevations over 8,000 feet and mountain passes were expected to see anywhere from 1-2 feet of snow. Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecasters expected increased avalanche danger in the high country.
Lower elevations were experiencing rain in the morning that was expected to rapidly turn to snow as temperatures drop significantly. Motorists should slow down and drive for the conditions as flash freezing and black ice are expected.
CDOT said motorists should be aware that the state traction law and passenger vehicle chain law could be implemented if conditions require it. When either law is in effect, highway signage will be activated.
• Traction law: Motorists need snow tires, tires with mud/snow designation, or a four-wheel drive vehicle, and all tires must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread.
• Passenger vehicle chain law: Every vehicle on the roadway must have chains or an alternative traction device such as AutoSock.
Without proper equipment, you can be fined $130. If your vehicle blocks the roadway, you could be fined more than $650.
Visit http://www.COTRIP.org to view road conditions, travel alerts and to track CDOT snowplows.
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