Motorists Urged to Plan Ahead and Avoid Traveling During This Weekend’s Major Snowstorm

FILE PHOTO. Wind-blown snow obscures the sun Dec. 20, 2012 in the Glacier View Meadows subdivision northwest of Fort Collins.

The Colorado Department of Transportation urges motorists to keep a close eye on the weather and road conditions and stay off the roads as the potential of a high-impact snowstorm is in the forecast for this weekend.

The forecast contains many accumulations from one to three feet of snow in and around the Denver area in the western and southern areas. Heavier snowfall could fall over the foothills, and east of the Continental Divide, with the most severe impacts being expected for lower elevations.

The last time a storm such as this came to Colorado was in 2003, with up to six feet in parts of the foothills. The storm is expected to start late Friday and last through the weekend.

Heavy snow accumulations are possible along I-70, I-25, and other highway corridors in the foothills and the Front Range. Heavy snow is expected along the I-70 mountain corridor to the Eisenhower Memorial Johnson Tunnel.

A few things motorists should know:

  • If you plan to travel the I-70 mountain corridor for a weekend in the mountains, head to your destination BEFORE the storm before Friday evening.  
  • Regardless of your destination, get there before the storm hits. 
  • During the storm, AVOID traveling on impacted roads throughout the Denver metro area, on the I-70 Mountain Corridor, and I-25 South Gap construction zone between Castle Rock and Monument. CDOT is likely to close these roadways for safety reasons depending on the severity of the storm.
  • It is also possible I-70 east of Airpark Road, and other roadways in the Eastern Plains may close depending on the severity of the storm. 
  • CDOT crews will be out in force and plowing roads, focusing on clearing I-25, I-70, and impacted interstates. They will make multiple passes on these roads during the storm and not plow the secondary routes until the worst of the storm has passed. This means many roadways could be heavily snow-packed, making for hazardous driving conditions.
  • During a significant and high-impact snowstorm, travel should be limited to emergency and essential reasons with the proper vehicle and tires for heavy snow. DO NOT ATTEMPT to drive in such weather conditions unless you have the appropriate tires with good tread. Motorists should leave ample distance behind the vehicle ahead and NOT PASS PLOWS. If you are out in the storm, have an emergency kit with blankets, food, batteries, water, a shovel, and survival supplies should you get stuck or stranded.  
  • For more information on preparing for the snow, chain and traction laws, and other winter storm-related guidance, go to

Travelers are urged to “know before you go” and gather information regarding weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts, and current road conditions before hitting the road.

CDOT resources are as follows:

For more information regarding CDOT’s Winter Wise campaign, including helpful tips for winter driving, visit

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