I-70 News

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More than 30,000 vehicles can pass through the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels on a winter weekend day, with an average of 2.6 passengers in each one. However, if each vehicle filled their empty seats and instead had four occupants, 10,000 fewer cars would travel through the Tunnel each day. To encourage mountain travelers to carpool, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is hosting its second annual Mountain Rideshare Day on Saturday, Feb. 6, offering carpoolers exclusive discounts and deals at resorts and mountain businesses.

Participating resorts include Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone Resort, & Winter Park Resort.  These resorts are offering exclusive carpooler discounts to support ridesharing as a way to reduce congestion, save money and help the environment. Deals include discounted lift tickets, discounted parking, close in parking, and food/drink discounts.  Details at winter.codot.gov/rideshare

The I-70 Coalition is happy to support Mountain Rideshare Day, and so are select Peak Time Deals businesses.  Please be sure to visit the participating businesses below who will extend discounted goods and services to those with Mountain Rideshare Day wristbands on Saturday. Many mountain communities offer Peak Time Deals during peak I-70 travel times year-round. Visit GoI70.com/deals for a list of restaurants, entertainment options, retailers and lodging locations throughout the I-70 Mountain Corridor offering weekend discounts. 

Mountain Rideshare Day supporting businesses:

  • Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant — Happy hour deals 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Frisco)
  • Breckenridge Heritage Alliance — Haunted Tour of Breckenridge discount (Breckenridge)
  • Ready Paint Fire — No studio fees. Save $10 (Breckenridge)
  • Peak Sports — $5 quick wax & 20 percent off accessories (Copper Mountain)
  • Outlets at Silverthorne — Discounts at 50 outlet stores (Silverthorne)
  • Jenny’s Restaurant — Free appetizer (Empire)

To take full advantage of Mountain Rideshare Day, stop by CDOT’s station at the Wooly Mammoth Park-n-Ride Lot just off Interstate 70 and Morrison Road (go west on U.S. 40 a short distance) on Saturday morning to pick up your Mountain Rideshare Day wristband to unlock the deals! You can also get your wristband at participating resorts. While you’re at the Wooly Mammoth Lot, pick up a complementary hot chai donated by Bhakti Chai. Head to winter.codot.gov/rideshare to find out all the details.

 

Weekend Travel Forecast
Weather should not be a travel factor this weekend.
Friday WB - Traffic is possible from 4:00-8:30 p.m. 

Saturday WB – Expect heavy traffic from 6:30 a.m.-Noon, with the peak delay time of 30-60 minutes extra travel time occurring around 8:00 a.m.  Leave by 6:00 a.m. to get ahead of the crowds.

Saturday EB- Traffic is likely to build around 2:00 and peak around 5:00 pm.  Plan to leave after 7:00pm to avoid peak traffic.  Delays in recent years ranged from 20-30 minutes extra travel time.

Sunday WB – Traffic due to volume is unlikely.

Sunday EB – With the big game, traffic volume should be lighter than a typical Sunday.  Last year, traffic started at 11:00 a.m. and built slowly up until 5:00 p.m.  Delays resulted in 30 minutes extra travel time last year.

Go Broncos!!!!!

*The GoI70.com Travel Forecast is based on historical data, along with an estimation of how weather, construction, public events and other factors might impact travel.

There is a lot of misunderstanding around traffic metering and its intended purpose.  Travelers on I-70 might encounter two types of metering, and they each have a different objective.

Tunnel Safety Metering may be implemented on eastbound I-70 at the Eisenhower Tunnel approach during peak travel times. According to CDOT, this type of metering is used sparingly in this area but is utilized when necessary for safety reasons. Due to the lack of shoulders and pull offs inside the tunnel, CDOT is unable to allow backups inside the tunnel. Traffic must remain moving throughout the entire tunnel which is nearly 1.7 miles long. Should an emergency occur within the tunnel in stopped traffic, emergency vehicles would not be able to maneuver inside the tunnel or in the immediate tunnel vicinity. When stop & go traffic congestion on I-70 east of the tunnel threatens to back traffic into the tunnel, Tunnel Safety Metering is put into effect. Alternating red and green traffic lights keep traffic moving eastbound through the tunnel at a consistent rate, while allowing the congestion on the east side of the tunnel to dissipate.

Ramp metering is used eastbound at the Frisco, Silverthorne, Hwy 6/Loveland Pass and Hwy 40/Empire on ramps to relieve eastbound congestion during peak travel times. By regulating the flow of traffic entering the interstate during peak traffic times, the overall flow of traffic on I-70 is smoother. The regulated flow means the highway can accommodate more vehicles per hour, shorten overall travel times, and provide a higher degree of safety. The delays travelers experience due to ramp metering prior to entering I-70 helps keep their overall delay shorter by not overwhelming I-70 with too many vehicles at one time.

The Weekend Travel Forecast:
Snow is in the forecast for late Saturday through Sunday so be winter-prepared!  Mountain Travel Radio is a great resource to learn real time road and traffic conditions, and it can be accessed through CoTrip.org.

Friday WB – Traffic is possible between 5:00-8:30 p.m. 

Saturday WB – Expect heavy traffic from 6:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The last three years, delays peaked at one hour right around 8:00 a.m.  This link will visually demonstrate just how predictable Saturday morning westbound traffic is this time of year! 

Saturday EB- Moderate traffic can be expected between 2:00 and 7:00 pm.  The last two years, travelers experienced peak delays of 30 minutes between 4:00 and 6:00 pm.  Plan to leave after 7 pm to avoid traffic volume. 

Sunday WB – Light traffic is possible between 6:30-10:00 a.m.

Sunday EB – Plan for moderate to heavy traffic to develop before Noon, reach its peak between 4:00-5:00, and taper off soon after 8:30 pm.  Two factors to consider: 1) The X Games in Aspen end Sunday which could result in higher-than-normal eastbound volume, and 2) Snowy conditions could result in a slower drive!

This is a great weekend to take advantage of a GoI70.com Peak Time Deal.  Check them out here!

*The GoI70.com Travel Forecast is based on historical data, along with an estimation of how weather, construction, public events and other factors might impact travel.

Front Range Ski Bus is offering you discounted round-trip transportation from the Denver area to Loveland Ski Area or Copper Mountain Resort. Discount lift tickets also available. Book your seat at FrontRangeSkiBus.com and use promo code SKIBUS for 10% off.


 

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