Slow Moving Storm to Impact Travel Statewide

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Published Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A slow-moving storm will impact travel statewide for much of the week. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is warning motorists that winter storm conditions have have already begun and may continue through through the weekend.  

The National Weather Service (NWS) predicts heavy snow for the northern and southwest mountains. The possible accumulation of one to two feet of snow has also prompted the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) to caution high country motorists of likely snow slide mitigation along mountain pass corridors.The avalanche control work will cause travel delays while operations are taking place and plows then clear the roads.

"This will be a lengthy event, lasting more than two days for much of Colorado. Travelers will need to be prepared with adequate snow tires or other traction devices," said Kyle Lester, CDOT Director of Highway Maintenance. "We also advise commercial vehicle drivers to be equipped with needed tire chains, especially in mountain areas."

IMPACTS: Regionally throughout the state, motorists can expect the weather to impact travel.

Southeast (Region 2)

Snow and blowing snow is expected on mountain passes in southeastern Colorado. Travel in these areas will be hazardous and challenging at times. Snow is expected across most of the southeast portion of the state with significant accumulation in the southeast mountains, while the front range and I-25 corridor will see varying accumulation from 2 to 12 inches. Northern El Paso, Teller, Park, Huerfano and Las Animas Counties should see the most accumulation. Arctic temperatures are expected which could lead to icy road conditions. CDOT crews will be on snow shift. Motorists are urged to make room for the plows, including the tow plow and tanker which will be used on I-25 throughout the region. Motorists are also reminded to move over for emergency vehicles.

AVOID A FINE!  Both passenger and commercial motorists should be aware of the state of Colorado's traction and chain laws which are implemented when conditions require it.  When either law is in effect, highway signage will be activated. Without proper equipment, motorists can be fined $130. If your vehicle blocks the roadway, you could be fined more than $650.

Passenger vehicles:

  • Traction Law (Code 15) -- Motorists will need snow tires, tires with mud/snow (M/S) designation, or a four-wheel drive vehicle -- all tires must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread.
  • Passenger Vehicle Chain Law (Code 16) -- Every vehicle on the roadway must have chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock).

Commercial vehicles:

  • Commercial Chain Law (Code 18) -- All commercial vehicles must chain up. Code 18 may be implemented any time there is snow covering the pavement on an ascending grade and to minimize road closures.

STAY INFORMED: Road and weather conditions are available by dialing 511, 303-639-1111, or visiting www.cotrip.org. Available on the COtrip site are:

The traveling public may also visit the CDOT website at www.codot.gov.