June 15, 2017

Typical Summer Traffic Pattern

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 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 Frisco.

Saturday and Sunday WB –On Saturday morning, you might experience congestion from 10:00-2:00 p.m.  Get an earlier start to avoid traffic.  There are rarely westbound delays on Sundays. 

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 lighter-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.

Mountain Express Lane – This eastbound express lane provides a more reliable travel time to those willing to pay the toll.  Get the ExpressToll pass to pay the posted toll rate.  Those without a pass will be billed the posted rate plus a service charge.  More info at ExpressToll.com

Weekend traffic on I-70 is extremely predictable, so barring weather or an accident, travelers can avoid the I-70 jam with just a little bit of planning.  Safe Travels!