CDOT: Traffic expected to tick up this holiday season |

CDOT: Traffic expected to tick up this holiday season

Eliza Noe
Craig Press

Traffic across the state of Colorado is expected to be higher than normal because of heavy holiday traffic, the Colorado Department of Transportation said in a release on Tuesday.

Last year, the pandemic put a large damper on holiday traffic — especially since Thanksgiving tends to be one of the less busy holidays, CDOT said. However, holiday shopping for Black Friday could raise those totals more over the course of the weekend.

“State construction and maintenance projects will be suspended by Wednesday afternoon to help minimize traffic impacts,” the release reads. “Projects can resume work, if necessary, late Sunday, with most projects restarting work on Monday. The only exception is for emergency operations.”

CDOT also released totals from last year for traffic going through Eisenhower and Johnson Memorial Tunnels on I-70. The day before Thanksgiving last year, 36,602 vehicles passed through the tunnels. The next spike came over the weekend, with over 37,000 vehicles passing through on Sunday and Saturday each. In total, 162,139 vehicles passed through the I-70 tunnels over the course of Wednesday through Sunday.

Colorado State Patrol will also have a heavier presence this week to remove impaired drivers from the road. During last year’s Thanksgiving Week enforcement period from Nov. 20-30, 104 law enforcement agencies arrested 354 impaired drivers across the state. In 2020, one motorist died in a crash involving an impaired driver. Over Halloween weekend, 155 drivers were arrested for a DUI during heightened enforcement.

Travellers should plan for additional travel time when driving eastbound I-70 through Glenwood Canyon. A lane closure will be in place over the holiday weekend because of the permanent emergency repairs project at Blue Gulch. Crews are nearing completion on the project, which repairs damage caused by mud and debris flows this summer. Westbound lanes in Glenwood Canyon remain open during the holiday weekend.

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