4:45 pm - Friday December 15, 2017

Winter Weather Moving in to Front Range

Snow Expected to Continue, Crews on Full Snow Shift

Front Range- Winter weather has moved into the Denver Metro Area and all across the Front Range. Crews along the Front Range are on full snow shift. The Denver Metro Area has over 100 snow plows on the roads and the entire Front Range has roughly 300 plows out in full force patrolling and dispersing anti-icing and de-icing products. Maintenance crews are patrolling the highways washed out by the September floods to ensure that roadways remain in stable condition throughout this storm.

Crews are currently and will continue to apply a combination of liquid and solid de-icing and anti-icing products. The recent warm temperatures and fast dropping current temperatures accompanied by thick, wet snow is likely to create icy conditions on many roadways for the evening commute and through the night. Motorists are encouraged to drive according to conditions and to expect black ice conditions on roadways. Evening commuters are encouraged to allow for extra time.


Snow plow safety is an important part of winter driving. Motorists traveling behind snow plows should remain a minimum of five car lengths behind the plow. Snow plows have limited visibility and often cannot see vehicles traveling too closely behind them. When plows are removing snow and ice from the roadways, whiteout conditions can occur for vehicles traveling too close to the plow. Allow plows to work at a safe distance from vehicles and use extreme caution when passing snow plows. Snow plow operators are maintaining the roads for the safety of the traveling public and their main objective is to remove snow and ice from the roadways to ensure vehicles can arrive safely at their destinations.


During non-peak travel times, snow plows use a method of plowing known as echelon plowing. Once snow begins accumulating, crews will use this method along major roadways. Echelon plowing is when snow plows line up at an angle along the roadway and plow in a line. This method of plowing allows crews to remove maximum amounts of snow and ice from the roadway in an even fashion and in a shorter period of time. CDOT does not recommend passing the plows when this is occurring.


To receive real-time updates about road conditions in your area, visit www.coloradodot.info and click on the green cell phone icon in the upper right hand corner of the page. Information about weekly lane closures will be available at www.coloradodot.info/travel/scheduled-lane-closures.html. Live road conditions are available at www.cotrip.org, downloading the CDOT Mobile app or by calling 511 from anywhere in the state. Updates are also available via Twitter @coloradodot and be sure to “Like” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/coloradodot.


The Colorado Department of Transportation is or will be going on snow shift today in southeastern Colorado.  Snow shift denotes 12-hour rotating shifts for maintenance crews – 12 hours on; 12 hours off.  CDOT will remain on snow shift until the latest storm leaves the area.

Pueblo Maintenance Area (snow-shift underway)

38 plows working 


Colorado Springs Maintenance Area (snow-shift began at noon)

35 plows working.


La Junta Maintenance Area (snow-shift begins at 8 p.m.)

18 plows working 


Trinidad Maintenance Area (snow-shift begins at 4 p.m.)

22 plows 
Lamar Maintenance Area (snow-shift begins at midnight – if necessary depending on how the storm tracks)

23 plows 


Fairplay Maintenance Area (currently on snow-shift)

25 plows 




  1. Plan your trip! Log on to CDOT’s Winter Driving web page at: http://www.coloradodot.info/travel/winter-driving for tips, road conditions, information on CDOT’s 14-hour snow plow coverage and more; or call 511 for statewide road conditions. Also, sign up for FREE wireless text and/or e-mail updates on road conditions/closures—see the green phone icon in the upper right-hand corner of our web site home page. Motorists can also log onto the National Weather Service’s site at http://weather.gov/.
  2. Always keep the top half of your gas tank full. It can give you better traction and gives you a bigger margin of error if you get stuck and have to keep the engine running periodically to keep warm.
  3. If you are stuck in a serious storm do not leave your car. Run the engine periodically and wait for help.
  4. Carry blankets, water, a flashlight, a shovel, some nutrition bars or other food for sustenance. Winterize your vehicle’s safety kit by including extra blankets, sand to help gain traction in the event you become stuck on ice or snow, jumper cables, an ice scraper and lock de-icer.
  5. Remember that 4-wheel drive does not mean 4-wheel stop. A 4-wheel drive vehicle will not stop any better in icy conditions, especially if you have inadequate snow tires.
  6. Be sure of your route. Don’t go exploring in the back-country without some local knowledge, especially during a storm or when one is bearing down anywhere near your location.
  7. Be sure you have good tires. The Colorado State Patrol recommends at least 1/8 inch of tread depth. All season radials on a front-wheel-drive passenger vehicle are adequate for most situations; install them on all four tires. Four snow tires on most rear-wheel drive vehicles are usually adequate. Chain restrictions in Colorado are most often put into effect for commercial vehicles (semi-trailer trucks) and do not usually affect passenger vehicles (please see information on Colorado’s chain law at http://www.coloradodot.info/travel/commercial-vehicles/colorado-chain-law.url).
  8. In poor visibility or even whiteout conditions, don’t drive faster than you can see ahead. High speeds in poor or no visibility can lead to large chain reaction accidents. Remember you can’t see around mountain curves and corners, either.
  9. In addition to these winter driving tips, CDOT reminds all motorists to respect winter weather, conduct a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle, leave extra space between your automobile and others on the road, and never drink and drive.
  10.  Always buckle up.



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