It should be sunny, cold, and clear(ish) on I-70. To our surprise, last weekend saw the highest traffic counts through the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel that have EVER been recorded during a Fall weekend. However - the changing leaves have mostly passed, this week's flurries will keep people home, and Columbus/Indigenous Peoples Day Weekend usually has pretty low traveler numbers, comparatively. Snow should be gone from the roadways this weekend, but as seen today - it is getting to be that time of year. Brush up on the Traction Law (now in effect from September through May; failure to comply will result in expensive penalties), allow for extra travel time, and check CoTrip.org to learn more about what is happening on the road before you travel.
Friday WB – Moderate to heavy traffic volume expected with 20 - 35 minute delays possible during peak times of 4pm to 7pm.
Saturday WB – Moderate traffic volume expected with 15 minute delays possible during peak times of 11:30am to 2:30pm.
Saturday EB – Light traffic with no volume related delays expected.
Sunday WB – Light traffic with no volume related delays expected.
Sunday EB – Moderate traffic volume expected with 20 to 30 minute delays possible during peak times of 2pm to 6pm. Great opportunity to stay in the mountains after 6pm and take advantage of late season 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.
Weather, Road Conditions & Accidents - these are impossible to predict and can escalate the level and duration of delays dramatically. Before you travel, check one of the real time information resources!
Holiday Weekends - when a national holiday falls on a Monday, you can count on Monday afternoon eastbound traffic to mimic a typical Sunday pattern, but with potentially more volume. On the flip side, the Sunday of holiday weekends tends to have slightly less congestion than usual.
Safety Metering - Safety metering eastbound at the Eisenhower Tunnel goes into effect during periods of particularly high traffic volume. This process is in place to ensure traffic flows safely and freely through the tunnel. Expect eastbound delays when metering is in effect.
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.
(Dec. through April. Based on historical data.)
With just a bit of planning travelers can enjoy More Mountains and Less Traffic. Below is the typical winter weekend traffic pattern. Although there are heavy volumes around the holidays, the most significant of delays are limited to January and February.
Friday Westbound - Light to moderate traffic is possible from about 3:30-8:00 p.m.
Saturday Westbound - If you want to avoid skier traffic, plan to leave the Front Range no later than 6:00 a.m. 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 Eastbound - Saturday eastbound traffic tends to be much lower in volume than Sunday. Many Saturdays see very little congestion but it varies by weekend. To play it safe, avoid the 2:00 - 6:00 p.m timeframe.
Sunday Westbound - Traffic due to volume is not typically an issue westbound on Sunday mornings. To play it safe, avoid the 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. timeframe.
Sunday Eastbound - I-70 traffic starts to build as early as 11:00 a.m. The peak of the traffic occurs between 3:00-6:00 and drops off soon after 7:00 pm. Expect heavy traffic. To avoid the jam, stay in the mountains for dinner, or spend Sunday night and head back to work or school Monday morning. GoI70.com Peak time Deals provide incentives to avoid peak travel times!