I-70 News

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September 18, 2014

Ski Train Status

As the I-70 Coalition considers potential solutions to I-70 congestion, we are often asked why operations of the Denver to Winter Park ski train aren’t resumed.  So, here are the facts.

The City and County of Denver ran the ski train from Denver to Winter Park until the early 2000s and then sold it to a private entity.  That operator ceased running the business, and no other operator has proposed starting up another ski train. 

Any entity interested in starting up the ski train business again would need to get permission/approval to use the rail line from the freight railroad, in this case Union Pacific.  In this country, freight traffic takes precedent over passenger traffic and the demand for freight transportation on the rail line the ski train used is already at capacity. This is essentially the issue that caused the previous ski train to cease operations. There were instances where the ski train was held for several hours waiting for freight traffic to clear the line through the Moffat Tunnel.  In addition, the Moffat Tunnel was built at the beginning of the last century and has no ventilation capacity, so this further restricts traffic allowed on that line to one diesel locomotive every 45 minutes. 

There are many Coloradoans who want this wonderful transportation resource back, but there are some hurdles that would need tackling before that could happen.  In the meantime, there is always a ski bus or van!  Learn more at http://goi70.com/bus-and-van-services/

Weekend Travel Forecast

Friday WB – Some traffic congestion is possible between 3:00-6:00 p.m. in the Floyd Hill to Idaho Springs area.

Saturday WB – Traffic could be thick between Floyd Hill and Idaho Springs for those heading up the mountains between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Saturday EB -  No traffic delays are anticipated.

Sunday EB - Afternoon eastbound slowing might begin around Noon and continue until approximately 7:00 p.m.   Last year saw a peak delay of 90 minutes at 2:30 p.m., although there was snow up at the Eisenhower Tunnel that day!  The previous year saw a 50 minute peak delay also at 2:30 p.m.   Check out the GoI70.com Peak Time Deals for an excuse to stay late and save!

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

September 2, 2014

Fall Travel Forecast

Fall is such a great time of year to visit the Colorado mountains!  The weather is still great, and traffic is not much of a factor in I-70 travel.  There are still some times you want to avoid, so Change Your Peak Time and enjoy a delay-free trip on I-70 over the next couple weekends!

Friday WB – Be prepared for some slowing from 11:00-6:00 p.m. between Floyd Hill and Idaho Springs.  Previous years shows 15-30 minute peak delays at Noon.

Saturday WB – Some congestion between Floyd Hill and Idaho Springs is possible around 10:00 a.m. and could continue until around 6:00 p.m.

Saturday EB – No traffic is predicted.

Sunday EB – Some traffic congestion is possible between 1:00-7:00 p.m. On this day in recent years, the peak delay was only 15 minutes. 

*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.

Expect a big rush of travelers westbound on Friday and Saturday and again eastbound on Monday.  This holiday weekend brings with it one of the last really high traffic weekends on I-70 until the ski season begins, and GoI70 is here to help you avoid the jam!

Friday westbound there will be a burst of early escapees from the Front Range headed west to the mountains around 11:30 a.m.  Last year, traffic peaked at 5:00 p.m. with 80 minute delays.  Expect traffic to taper off by 10:00 p.m.   

Saturday westbound travelers might see some of the heaviest weekend traffic.  Expect congestion from about 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with the worst of the delays occurring between Noon and 3:00 p.m.  Last year, delays peaked at 80 minutes.

Saturday eastbound
No delays are expected.

Sunday eastbound & westbound
Sunday will likely be the best day to travel in either direction as far as traffic goes.  No delays are anticipated.

Monday eastbound travelers should be prepared for the classic Sunday traffic pattern. The interstate will move at normal speeds in the early morning  Monday, but eastbound delays will likely begin around 11:00 a.m.  The peak of traffic will occur between 11:30-4:30 p.m. with approximately 1 hour delays occuring in the early afternoon.  The worst of the congestion will be around the Twin Tunnels.  On Labor Day Weekends in recent years, the traffic subsided right around 6:00 p.m. 

Before you jump on I-70, see what is happening on the road by checking one of CDOT’s many real-time information sources.  If traffic has already begun, Change Your Peak Time and opt to stick around the mountains later into the day.    

Happy Labor Day!

*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.