Incident Commanders: Coming to a Colorado Road near you

9NEWS at 5. 9/2/2016

SUMMIT COUNTY -- You might notice a new fleet driving the Colorado roads this weekend, the Incident Management Team with CDOT.

Mark Hanschmidt is part of the new team that will be driving the I-70 mountains. He's preparing for the busy weekend and winter season by taking on the big job to “keep things moving."

The goal is to keep traffic flowing by reducing the long lines of congestion a crashed car can cause.

“When we start getting these backups, drivers who are unaware can drive right in the back of these lines and cause more problems,” Hanschmidt said.

It’s estimated for every minute an I-70 lane is closed, there is 4 minutes of traffic backup.

So now the plan is to coordinate tow trucks, police and firefighters with a quick clearance program to move wrecks, stuck cars or just people broken down as fast as possible.

In some cases, Hanschmidt and his team will use the bumper of their cars to push crashed cars and trucks right off I-70 and clear the lane.

Right now, there are two CDOT Incident Commanders patrolling I-70 west of Denver.

Hanschmidt says the program is already helping but, will be put to the test over the busy Labor Day weekend and winter months ahead.

“Getting traffic moving [is] the important part of this whole program,” Hanschmidt said.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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