Lawmakers unhappy about CDOT plan to leave rural roads unplowed |

Lawmakers unhappy about CDOT plan to leave rural roads unplowed

The state Department of Transportation plans to leave snow on nearly 2,800 miles of less-traveled rural highways during evening hours this winter, and lawmakers who represent those areas are fuming.

Citing public safety concerns, a dozen legislators, mostly Republicans, have drafted a letter asking transportation officials and Gov. Bill Ritter to send out plows to the farther reaches of the state’s highway system.

A spokeswoman for the transportation department said the state’s general practice has always been to leave those stretches unplowed overnight unless they are a school route, a hospital route or unless heavier snowfall would otherwise shut them down.

The difference, said spokeswoman Stacey Stegman, is that the state has reposted signs warning drivers that roads won’t be cleared between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., and the state will better enforce those hours this year.

The policy applies to roads with 1,000 or fewer drivers a day, which include great swaths of roads on the Western Slope and Eastern Plains.

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