Freezing rain, increased traffic may cause travel delays over MLK holiday weekend

Winter Driving
FOX21 News - File Photo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is expecting high traffic volumes along the I-70 corridor and other mountain roads through Monday.

Travelers should expect delays as well as the possibility of avalanche mitigation, according to CDOT’s I-70 Mountain Corridor Manager Patrick Chavez.

With freezing rain expected along the I-70 eastern corridor, I-25 south of Pueblo and throughout southeast Colorado beginning Saturday, icy road conditions are also likely.

“We tend to get excited whenever we’re going away on vacation, but you need to be smart,” said FOX21 News meteorologist Dee Cortez. “Check to make sure your tires have the proper treading before you go. It’s not a good time to be slipping and sliding.”

Cortez adds to make sure you have everything you need before you head out, such as an emergency survival kit, flares, and clothing. She also said if you have the choice, take a car with four-wheel drive.

“Just be prepared and be smart out there, be careful in conditions like these,” she said.

Colorado State Patrol has shared some tips to keep you safe while driving:

  • If you are involved in a crash, stay inside your car with your seatbelt buckled. Call 911 and wait for CSP, local law enforcement or Emergency Management professionals to arrive.
  • Slow down, use caution and drive for the conditions. Slowing down allows you the opportunity to react to changing conditions.
  • Always drive with your view to the front of the hood so you’re prepared to react as necessary.

CDOT is also reminding drivers to avoid fines and be aware of the state’s traction and chain laws which are implemented when required. When either law is in effect, highway signage will be activated:

Passenger vehicles:

  • Traction Law (Code 15) — Motorists will need snow tires, tires with mud/snow (M/S) designation, or a four-wheel drive vehicle — all tires must have a minimum one-eighth inch tread.
  • Passenger Vehicle Chain Law (Code 16) — Every vehicle on the roadway must have chains or an alternative traction device (like AutoSock).

Commercial vehicles:

Commercial Chain Law (Code 18) — All commercial vehicles must chain up. Code 18 may be implemented any time there is snow covering the pavement on an ascending grade and to minimize road closures.

You can call 511 for periodically updated road conditions.

>> Click here to view road conditions and travel alerts.


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