Summer traffic patterns through the I-70 mountain corridor are generally as outlined below. During Summer 2013, it will be important to check the daily blasting schedule for the Twin Tunnel Project east of Idaho Springs as delays will be likely.
Friday wesbound– 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. These delays might mean an added 20 minutes to a trip from Golden to Vail.
Saturday and Sunday westbound – traffic is well-distributed westbound on weekend mornings. The exception to this is the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend 20 minute delays may occur from 10:00 am-3:00 pm.
Saturday eastbound – Saturday eastbound traffic tends to be much lower in volume than Sunday. It is spread out enough that, barring an accident, there is not much congestion.
Sunday eastbound – According to historical data, in June/July the traffic starts to build between Noon and 1:00 pm, but in August the pattern is for congestion to build by 11:00 a.m. The peak of traffic is consistently at 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 8:00 p.m. Consider staying in the mountains for dinner, or spending Sunday night and head back to the Front Range early Monday morning.
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’s of holiday weekends tend to have minimal congestion.
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 to the Front Range early as well.
Fortunately, I70 is congestion free the majority of the time and traffic is quite predictable. Plan accordingly and avoid the jam!
Typcial Winter Traffic Pattern (early Dec-mid April):
Fortunately, I70 is congestion free the majority of the time, and traffic is quite predictable. A detailed weekend/holiday forecast is posted on the GoI70 blog each week, but below is the typical winter weekend traffic pattern.
Friday Westbound – Light to moderate traffic from about 4:00-8:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday Westbound – Moderate traffic from about 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. with the peak around 7:30-8:00 a.m. Sunday morning WB traffic is typically lighter than Saturday morning.
Saturday Eastbound – Traffic builds around 2:30 p.m., peaks around 4:00-5:00 and drops dramatically after 6:00 p.m. Expect heavy congestion. “Leave After 6:00, Home by 8:00.”
Sunday Eastbound – I70 starts to fill up earlier than it does on Saturday, as early as 1:30 or 2:00 p.m., traffic peaks around 4:00-5:00 and drops off soon after 6:30 pm. Expect very heavy traffic.
Loveland Pass Closure – When Loveland Pass is closed, expect 20 minute stops at the Johnson/Eisenhower Tunnels to let Hazardous Material Trucks through. This procedure only applies during low volume travel times. Traffic will not be held during high volume travel times.
Metering – Traffic metering goes into effect during very high volume times at the Johnson/Eisenhower Tunnels. This process involves controling the flow of traffic eastbound into the Eisenhower Tunnel, so traffic does not back up in the tunnel.
Bad weather, accidents or holiday weekends can escalate the level and duration of congestion dramatically. Check GoI70.com/mobile, plan accordingly and avoid the jam!