KUSA - If you are driving to the high country this weekend, get ready for more measures to help keep Interstate 70 moving. The Colorado Department of Transportation is talking about "wave escorts."
Should weather conditions require it, CDOT will implement wave escorts further down the mountain at Silverthorne to ensure that eastbound traffic can move steadily up the hill without having to stop and encounter possible traction issues. Wave escorts are designed to keep traffic rolling, resulting in fewer delays on a heavily congested weekend in inclement weather.
CDOT cannot allow backups in or around the Eisenhower Tunnel. With increased traffic numbers, particularly during weekend peak travel times, CDOT is implementing innovative methods of traffic control to ensure traffic flow moves continuously in this area. Wave Escorts is one of these methods. When implemented, motorists should anticipate stops in Silverthorne or Frisco where they will wait for an escort up the mountain by Colorado State Patrol. Troopers will be stationed ready to lead waves of motorists up the mountain and through the Eisenhower Tunnel.
This and other methods of traffic control are implemented sparingly but are done so for the safety of the traveling public to minimize spin outs and loss of traction control up the mountain causing vehicles to become disabled in adverse winter weather. By holding traffic in these locations during adverse weather, snow plows are given an empty roadway to perform echelon plowing. Echelon plowing is when snow plows line up at an angle along the corridor. This type of plowing is the most effective and efficient method of clearing snow and ice from the roadway as evenly as possible in the least amount of time, providing motorists a clear and safe roadway.
With some ski resorts reporting the most snowfall in over 10 years, CDOT is working to ensure the volume of motorist traveling to the mountains are safe and encourage the traveling public to ensure their vehicles are properly equipped for conditions, to drive for winter conditions when appropriate and to anticipate heavy delays when traveling during peak times.
CDOT encourages all drivers using the I-70 mountain corridor to be prepared for the possibility of a storm throughout the fall, winter and spring seasons. Stocking your vehicle with essentials like water, blankets, windshield wiper fluid, hand warmers and nonperishable food items is highly encouraged. Preparing vehicles prior to a trip and driving according to conditions is essential to winter travel along this corridor. Should your vehicle become disabled along the roadway, be cautious of motorists if moving outside your vehicle.