Interstate 70 is a widely known stretch of highway that all tourists, commuters, and locals are all familiar traveling on. With so many people using this road to get to and from the mountains for popular vacations during the summer, traffic, unexpected accidents, and weather are some factors to take into consideration when planning your next trip that requires traveling along I-70 between Denver and the Rocky Mountains.
With our very big snowy winter we had in the mountains this season construction projects are happening all around our roads including I-70. During the winter drivers are constantly dealing with bad weather like icy slick roads and copious amounts of snowfall that will slow down travel times. With these cold weather conditions happening all winter long construction is normally put off until it is clear and the snow has subsided.
Fall Construction: Highway Expansion
Summertime and Fall delays on I-70 are very common as the Colorado Department of Transportation plans for the following winter.
This year I-70 is expanding by two express lanes in both directions. Partial lane closures will cause some delays, but most work will be done during overnight hours. This new addition will be a tolled express lane that will only be open during peak busy times for the upcoming seasons. New road pavements and maintenance repairs are some other projects to look out for during fall construction.
- CODOT will update their website with current projects and when to expect delays. We highly recommend trying to avoid these times.
- Plan ahead and learn about alternate routes in case you cannot avoid the construction delays. Loveland Pass can be a good option to avoid the Tunnel if need be.
- Before the snow comes in, taking 285 can be a good option depending on what mountain town you are heading too. Once it gets snowy, this is a very treacherous highway.
Safety Tips in I-70
Avoiding traffic is one of the major priorities for every traveler on I-70. It is the only main highway to get from Denver to most mountain towns, and when you add an abundance of tourists visiting for vacations, the highway can get easily congested. These are some common tips to avoid traffic:
- Book a shuttle service. This can help take away and stress and worry from navigating traffic in an unknown area. With airport pick-ups/drop-offs and door to door services with your own driver that can handle any delay while you take in the beautiful view and start your vacation off right.
- Plan around peak times. Heading west bound towards the mountains on a Friday evening will be busy just like rush hour. Going back east on Sundays during the afternoon and evening are another time to avoid. Weekdays will always be a smoother ride to take.
- Avoid inclement weather. Make sure you are prepared with any weather you may experience while traveling. Fall in Colorado can bring early mountain snow storms. Waiting it out could be an option to avoid those slow lanes and a potential accident.
From long-time locals to new tourists that have never driven through mountains, I-70 is a highway that will always be known to travelers. Keeping a lookout for construction delays during the fall, avoiding busy times like weekends and holidays, and being prepared for any weather or accidents will make each drive on the interstate a smoother one. Driving to and from the mountains can be a beautiful ride, but being familiar with navigating this main highway will benefit you more and keep your drive stress free one.