DENVER – The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is gearing up to battle adverse conditions this winter and encouraging drivers to do the same.
Maintenance crews are taking a number of steps in preparation for the next several months, including stocking ice removal products and making sure snow removal equipment is ready to keep the highways safe for travel. Plow trucks will carry and distribute sand and salt to enhance tire adhesion and pre-wet roadways with liquid deicer for traction and effective ice-melting
“Just as we get ready for the winter months ahead, we’re recommending that drivers do the same, such as ensuring their vehicle is properly winterized, including making sure that they have adequate tread on their tires or have good snow tires,” said CDOT’s Division of Maintenance Director Kyle Lester. “We’re also reminding the traveling public to give our plows plenty of room and not pass them on the right so they can safely clear the highway.”
When a storm is predicted, maintenance crews begin 24-hour operations—rotating 12-hour shifts—until roads return to normal driving conditions. And, when warranted, avalanche control crews will work with forecasters from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center to trigger avalanches along mountain highways before they run naturally.
CDOT MAINTENANCE – BY THE NUMBERS
REGION ONE: Consists of Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Gilpin and Jefferson counties. It has 394 maintenance workers, 206 pieces of snow removal equipment and oversees 4,530 lane-miles (the combined lengths of each lane on every highway in the region).
REGION TWO: Consists of Baca, Bent, Crowley, Custer, El Paso, Fremont, Huerfano, Kiowa, Las Animas, Park, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo, and Teller counties. It has 224 employees, 195 pieces of snow removal equipment and oversees 7,682 highway lane-miles.
REGION THREE: Consists of Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Jackson, Lake, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose (east), Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt and Summit counties. It is split into two maintenance sections. The Grand Junction Maintenance Section has 290 maintenance workers, 139 pieces of snow removal equipment, including two tow-plows, and oversees 4,038 lane-miles. Craig’s Maintenance Section has 96 maintenance employees, 64 pieces of snow removal equipment and oversees 1704 lane-miles.
REGION FOUR: Consists of Boulder, Cheyenne, Elbert, Kit Carson, Larimer, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma counties. It has 286 maintenance employees, 274 pieces of snow removal equipment, including 9 tow plows and oversees 9,364 lane-miles
REGION FIVE: Consists of Alamosa, Archuleta, Chaffee, Conejos, Costilla, Dolores, La Plata, Mineral, Montezuma, Montrose (west) Ouray, Rio Grande, Saguache San Juan, and San Miguel counties. It is split into two maintenance sections. The Durango Maintenance Section has 106 maintenance employees, 108 pieces of snow removal equipment and oversees 1,750 lane-miles. Alamosa’s Maintenance Section has 99 maintenance employees, 118 pieces of snow removal equipment and oversees 1,530 lane-miles.
“Keeping our highways clear of snow and ice during adverse weather is challenging, but our forces are dedicated and well-trained to help keep our highways open and passable throughout the winter season,” added Lester. “Highway safety is job one and while our crews do their best battling Mother Nature, we’re reminding motorists to drive appropriately for conditions, which means to slow down when driving on wet or snowy roads. In addition, they should give themselves plenty of time to reach their destination.”