Travel Forecast & Tips
I-70 is congestion free the majority of the time and traffic is quite predictable, weather and accidents withstanding. Plan to avoid peak travel times, and enjoy a delay-free trip along I-70. Our weekend travel forecast is updated every Thursday afternoon.
Weekend Travel Forecast
December 2-4, 2016
Other than scattered snow showers later in the day on Friday, the weather should not cause any travel challenges this weekend.
Friday WB – Traffic volume will not be significant, but there is a chance of scattered snow showers east of the Eisenhower Tunnel.
Saturday WB – Last year there was congestion from 6:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. with a peak delay of 20 minutes occurring at 8:00 a.m.
Sunday WB - No volume-related delays are expected.
Saturday EB- on this day last year, there were 10 minute eastbound delays between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.
Sunday EB – Based on the historical data, light traffic might build around 2:30 p.m., peak around 4:00 and drop off by 5:00 pm. Check CoTrip.org or call 511 to learn the status of traffic before you head out.
*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.
Tips for I-70 mountain travel
- Avoid the Peak Travel Times. If heading eastbound on Saturday or Sunday, plan to leave the mountains after 7:00 p.m. Check the weekend and holiday Travel Forecast.
- Check the road and traffic conditions before you travel.
- Check out the Peak Time Deals local businesses offer to help you avoid peak travel times.
- Spend a Sunday night in the mountains and head to work or school early Monday morning.
- Prepare for I-70 mountain driving conditions. Understand the Traction & Chain Laws.
- Create or join a carpool.
- Consider taking a bus or van to the mountains and leave the driving to someone else.
Winter Traffic Patterns
Every Thursday, GoI70.com posts a travel forecast specific to the coming weekend, but below is the typical winter traffic pattern.
Friday WB– There are occasionally moderate delays heading westbound in the 3:30-8:00 p.m. timeframe.
Saturday WB– If you want to avoid traffic, plan to leave the Front Range by 6:00 a.m. sharp. Traffic is consistently at its worst right around 8:00 a.m. resulting in up to one hour of additional travel time. Speeds return to normal soon after Noon.
Saturday EB- Saturday eastbound traffic tends to be much lower in volume than Sunday. It is usually spread out enough that, barring an accident, there is not much congestion.
Sunday WB – Traffic due to volume is not typically an issue westbound on Sunday mornings.
Sunday EB – According to historical data, eastbound traffic starts to build around Noon. The peak of traffic occurs in the 3:00-6:00 p.m. timeframe. The Mountain Express Lane has alleviated some of the eastbound congestion, but travelers will still experience delays most afternoons. 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. GoI70.com Peak Time Deals provide incentives to avoid the peak travel times!
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 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. It is a safety, not a traffic control, measure. Expect delays when metering is in effect.
Weather- Obviously, winter weather will result in slower speeds. And all it takes is one minor “fender bender” to snarl traffic for hours. Please be sure your tires are winter-ready, and take it slow.
Before you travel, check one of CDOT’s Real Time Info resources to see the current status of I-70!