I-70 summer solutions meeting Wednesday afternoon

We all know winter traffic along I-70 can be pretty bad in the mountains -- but right now we're actually in the heaviest of traffic volume.Work is being done to help and tonight people can weigh in on what they think of future solutions.

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY - From high above I-70 on a typical weekday, Margate Bowes with the I-70 Coalition will tell you traffic normally flows fast and free.

"I-70 has plenty of capacity most days of the year," Bowes said.

That's true of weekdays, but not on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays or holidays when traffic usually comes to a stop.

"Everyone wants to travel at the same times," Bowes said. 

Summit County Commissioner Dan Gibbs, who's been with the I-70 Coalition since 2003, says while drivers see more crashes and closures in the winter, the worst traffic congestion is typically worse in the summertime.

"Summertime July and August are the two busiest months. We see regularly about 42,000 people a day will head through the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels on a busy day. In the wintertime, it’s about 25,000 to 30,000 people," Gibbs said. 

CDOT has worked to help with some of those delays, adding the Mountain Express Lane to eastbound I-70. They want to do the same thing for I-70 westbound in Clear Creek County.

On Wednesday, they're hosting a public meeting at the United Center in Idaho Springs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to talk about I-70 solutions and want people to join in.

That fix is still years down the road, but there are things drivers can do to speed up their own travel times.

"We’re trying to provide as much information to the traveler on the front end so they can make the best plan for their trip," Gibbs said. 

The first step is to go to www.GOI70.com where you can find when traffic is expected to be the worst. You can also find mountain businesses offering deals to entice people to stay later and avoid the busy traffic.

"You do a little research and you can plan your trip and don’t have to be stuck in traffic," Gibbs said. 

These are good short-term fixes, but with more people rolling into Colorado each year, more long-term solutions will be needed to keep I-70 from getting worse.

"Adding auxiliary lanes so slow moving traffic and trucks have a way to get out of the flow of traffic," Bowes said. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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