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Heavy traffic on I-70 ahead of holiday weekend

Traffic on I-70 was virtually at pre-pandemic levels ahead of the Fourth of July.

DENVER — If Interstate 70 traffic is any indication, people are taking the second part of Colorado’s “Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors” phase of COVID-19 response seriously.  

Traffic cameras showed a miles-long backup between Golden and Idaho Springs Thursday evening, with delays of upwards of an hour during a drive that on a good day, takes around 30 minutes.

>> The video above is about traffic levels picking back up.

It’s worth mentioning that it’s Fourth of July weekend, meaning that many people will head into the mountains to escape the city as they’ve done in years past.

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Some data shows that, after traffic levels dropped to congestion last seen in 1980 during the state’s stay-at-home orders, more cars than ever are on I-70.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, eastbound traffic hit 29,796 cars last Sunday, more than 1,000 cars than the same time last year.  

Colorado’s safer-at-home phase of COVID-19 response allows communities that are ready to welcome tourists once again. Coloradans have also been encouraged to camp wherever they want, as long as they avoid contact with local communities as a measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

If traffic was bad on Thursday … it’ll likely be bad for the rest of the weekend too. Track the latest delays, construction, accidents and more on the 9NEWS traffic map: www.9news.com/traffic.

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