I-70 News


June 22, 2016

Summer Mountain Driving

Are you and your car ready to conquer the more than 5,000 foot elevation gain and decent between C-470 and the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel? Routine vehicle maintenance, route planning and proper road etiquette is essential for stress-free summer journeys on I-70. Here are some tips to make sure you’re ready for mountain driving this summer.

  • Plan Your Route — Traffic congestion along I-70 is predictable, so it’s always best to plan your route and avoid the crowds. Steer clear of peak travel times to avoid bumper-to-bumper traffic – Fridays between 2-7 p.m. and Sundays between 11 a.m.-8 p.m.  Also, be cognizant of roadwork and other conditions that may delay your drive. Visit GoI70.com/travel for a weekly I-70 travel forecast, check CoTrip.org or call 511 from anywhere in Colorado for road conditions throughout the state, and sign up for GovDelivery for text/email alerts.
  • Fluids — Make sure you and your vehicle are hydrated. The five and six percent grades along I-70 will task your engine, keep coolant topped off to keep your car moving up the steep hills. For yourself, the high altitude can quickly dehydrate, turning even a minor I-70 delay into a dehydration-induced headache! Have plenty of water in your car and extra radiator coolant on hand.
  • Easy on the Brakes, Use Lower Gears—Riding your breaks down steep grades heat them up and puts your car at risk of total brake failure. Instead of grinding your brake pads, use lower gears to slow you down. For manual transmission, downshift to appropriate lower gears, and for automatic use "L" or "2" on the shift panel.
  • Use the Right Lane! — We’ve all been there, stuck behind a wall of two slow moving vehicles. Traffic can already be taxing at times on I-70 – make sure you’re not the cause of it! Use the left lane for passing other vehicles, otherwise stay in the right lane.

Your Weekend Travel Forecast:

Friday WB – Traffic congestion might occur from Floyd Hill to Idaho Springs between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., but last year there was only minor slowing.

Saturday WB – This weekend the last two years saw 20-30 minute delays between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the Floyd Hill-Idaho Springs area.

Saturday EB- No delays occurred on this day over the last three years.

Sunday EB – Be prepared for traffic to start around 11 a.m. and build steadily until late afternoon.  Traffic will likely end soon after 7:30 p.m.  Last year, delays peaked at one hour between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.

Enjoy your weekend!

*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.

Summer is definitely in full swing, and this is the weekend we start to see higher volumes on Interstate 70.  Be aware of the typical summer traffic pattern, so you can plan around the congestion.  As always, we post a travel forecast specific to each weekend at www.goi70.com/travel

Typical Summer Traffic Pattern

Friday WB
– There are occasionally moderate delays heading westbound on Friday evenings. Traffic may build between 2:00-3:00 p.m., peak around 4:00 p.m., and end between 6:00-7:00 p.m. Delays during this timeframe might mean an added 20 minutes to a trip from Golden to Vail.

Saturday and Sunday WB – traffic is well-distributed westbound on weekend mornings.  On Saturday morning, you might experience some minor slowing from 10:00-2:00 p.m.  The exception to this is the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend where moderate delays may occur from 10:00 am-3:00 pm.

Saturday EB- Saturday eastbound traffic tends to be much lower in volume than Sunday. It is usually spread out enough that, barring an accident, congestion isn’t significant. 

Sunday EB – According to historical data, eastbound traffic starts to build around 11:00 a.m. The peak of traffic is consistently between 3:00 and 4:00 pm all summer long. With folks trying to enjoy every bit of daylight in the mountains, the traffic typically doesn’t diminish until approximately 7:00-8:00 p.m.  To avoid the traffic consider staying in the mountains for dinner, or spend Sunday night and head back to the Front Range early Monday morning.  Check out the GoI70.com Peak Time Deals for discounts on dining, shopping, activities and Sunday night lodging deals!

Holiday Weekends – when a national holiday falls on a Monday, you can count on Monday afternoon EB traffic to mimic a typical Sunday pattern, but with potentially more volume. On the flip side, the Sunday of holiday weekends tends to have less than normal congestion.

Safety Metering – Safety metering eastbound at the Eisenhower Tunnel goes into effect during high volume times.  This process controls the flow of traffic eastbound into the Eisenhower Tunnel, so traffic does not back up in the tunnel.  Expect eastbound delays when metering is in effect.

Weather- In the summer, weather plays a larger factor in traveler behavior. If rain showers move in early in the day, expect drivers to head back to the Front Range early as well.

The above information is also posted at GoI70.com’s Travel Forecast page.  Before you travel, always check one of CDOT’s Real Time Info resources to see the current status of I-70!

June 8, 2016

GoPro Games in Vail

Vail hosts the GoPro Mountain Games June 9-12.  The GoPro Mountain Games are the country’s largest celebration of outdoor sports and lifestyle.  Watch professional and amateur athletes compete in 25 disciplines on rivers, rocks and trails.  Don’t miss the DockDogs Big Air Competition!  Stay for the finals at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday and you should miss any eastbound I-70 traffic.

Weekend Travel Forecast:
The weather forecast calls for warm temperatures and the typical chance of afternoon thunderstorms.   If you can plan around the timeframes outlined below, you should have a delay-free trip to and from the mountains this weekend!

Friday WB
– Light traffic is possible from Noon to 6:00 p.m. 

Saturday WB – Congestion due to volume is not anticipated.

Saturday EB – Traffic volume should not cause any delays.

Sunday EB – Expect congestion to begin just before Noon, and then end around 6:00 p.m.  Last year the delays peaked between 2:00-4:00 p.m. with 30 minutes extra travel time from Vail to Golden.  Instead of battling traffic, take advantage of a discounted activity, meal or hotel room with one of our GoI70 Peak Time Deals

*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.