ROADS/BRIDGES: CDOT to implement major changes for winter driving along I-70

Nov. 6, 2015

The I-70 Mountain Corridor will launch a tolling express lane along with a traction law

Two major changes are coming to the I-70 Mountain Corridor including implementation of Passenger Vehicle Traction and Chain Laws, and the launch of the I-70 Mountain Express Lane. CDOT will continue to implement a variety of different operational strategies in the corridor, including safety metering at the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel, safety metering and snow plow escorts from Silverthorne, Frisco and Copper Mountain and improved incident management response.

If weather conditions require, CDOT will implement a Traction Law, also known as a Code 15. Under a Traction Law, all passenger vehicles will need to have either snow tires, tires with the mud/snow (M/S) designation, or a four-wheel drive vehicle — all tires must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread. 

During severe winter storms, CDOT will implement a Passenger Vehicle Chain Law, also known as a Code 16 — this is the final safety measure before the highway is closed. Under a Passenger Vehicle Chain Law, every vehicle on the roadway is required to have chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock).

Other major aspects of the Change Your Peak Drive campaign include a partnership between CDOT and the Colorado Motor Carriers Association (CMCA) to continue to educate truckers about how to travel through the I-70 Mountain Corridor and the requirements and fines associated with Colorado chain laws. 

CDOT will also expand its live streaming Mountain Travel Radio on, providing motorists with the most accurate and up-to-date travel information, special Peak Time deals and mountain event information, now airing on Friday afternoons, Saturday and Sunday mornings/afternoons, and on holidays.

Lastly, another major change that motorists will notice is the new I-70 Mountain Express Lane, a 13-mile toll lane that runs between Empire and Idaho Springs and operates only during peak travel times. The lane will use dynamic pricing to keep travel reliable and save motorists an average of 30 minutes. All drivers (including HOV) will pay a toll to use the lane and travelers can save by getting a switchable transponder or ExpressToll sticker.

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