DENVER — Thousands of travelers were stuck in the heavy traffic along Interstate 70 in the mountains this weekend leading to plenty of grumbling Monday.
Uninterrupted snow along the I-70 corridor from Vail to Denver started off the travel problems. The heavy snowfall not only made travel difficult, but was the reason so many people were on the road to begin with as thousands of skiers and snowboarders headed up to Colorado’s ski resorts over the weekend.
Drivers told FOX31 Denver that the worst spots were between Silverthorne and Eisenhower Tunnel.
Cars would get stuck on the long hill to the tunnel and either spin out or slide into other vehicles.
The Colorado Department of Transportation was forced to close portions of I-70 numerous times over the weekend to allow emergency officials to clear crashes.
Loveland Pass was closed for much of the weekend forcing CDOT to close the Eisenhower tunnel every hour so that vehicles carrying hazardous materials could pass the tunnel.
The metering, as CDOT calls it, created many of the backups.
Steve Florentine wrote on CDOT’s Facebook wall that it took him 3.5 hours to go from Silverthorn to the tunnel.
“Something has to be done,” Florentine said. “This is so insane every Sunday.”
Monday CDOT wrote on their Facebook page that travel on I-70 would be rough again.
“Expect snow packed and icy roads and build lots of extra travel time as we already have several accidents along I-70. Take it slow and steady!” CDOT said.
No simple solutions for I-70 congestion
There are no simple solutions to the congestion on I-70 during the winter skiing season.
Ideas have included adding toll roads, banning tuckers, adding a monorail route and adding more lanes.
Earlier this year, CDOT opened an expansion of the Twin Tunnels adding a third lane to the eastbound lanes of the tunnel that often formed a bottleneck for traffic.