Ice & Snow - Take It Slow!
January 21, 2011 - Northwestern Colorado/CDOT Region 3 - Variable temperatures during this milder storm can mean icy conditions for travelers – motorists reminded to have snow tires, stay aware and slow way down, especially on bridges.
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NORTHWEST/NORTH-CENTRAL COLORADO – A relatively milder winter storm moves into Colorado’s high country, this one still promising very low temperatures and wind—the kind of conditions that can translate into icy roads (particularly on highway ramps, overpasses and bridges). As temperatures drop to single digits during the evening, motorists will experience some icy roadways through the night and during their morning commutes to work or to their high-country activities. The Colorado Department of Transportation reminds motorist to stay alert and be prepared.
“Even with these lighter storms, the roads can be slick—particularly on any elevated portion of highway,” CDOT Region 3 Maintenance Superintendent (Craig Section) Les Anderson said. “Avoid accidents by having those snow tires on, and maintaining a very generous following distance so you have plenty of time to react on icy and snow-packed roads.”
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) reports that “continued wind-loading will keep the avalanche danger elevated. Natural avalanche activity will continue in wind-loaded areas, and human triggered avalanches remain likely and are becoming increasingly high consequence. Potential avalanches are growing deeper, wider, and will run farther.” The high-country in Routt County is currently rated by the CAIC as “considerable.” (Please go to http://avalanche.state.co.us/index.php for additional information, forecasts and hazard areas.)
When a storm moves in, CDOT maintenance crews begin operating on winter storm patrols. This means maintenance area crews (see worker numbers below) are out on 24-hour operation—or half the crews out at one time, on 12-hour shifts—until they reach dry road conditions. The following information details the 2009-2010 winter maintenance efforts throughout the Craig Maintenance Section.
CRAIG MAINTENANCE SECTION:
MAINTENANCE OPERATIONS FOR THE PAST (2009-10) WINTER SEASON
The Craig Maintenance Section includes six counties: Moffat, Routt, Jackson, Grand, Rio Blanco, and part of Garfield. The Section is broken into two separate Maintenance Areas (in Craig and in Kremmling), and each area’s patrols (detailed below).
Craig Maintenance Area
The Craig Maintenance Area includes patrols in: Skull Creek, Maybell, Craig, Rangely, Rifle, Meeker, Hayden, Steamboat Springs, and Yampa. The Craig Area has 45 full-time maintenance workers, 1 winter part-time worker, and 3 winter temporary positions. For winter operations, 27 sander units, 3 sander/deicer units, 5 straight deicer units, 6 motor-graders and 10 loaders are prepared for use.
The Craig area maintains 942 lane miles (lane miles measure the total length of all lanes on a highway). For the 2009-10 winter season, crews plowed 272,109 total lane miles, sprayed 141,760 gallons of liquid deicers and spread 11,838 tons of sand/salt products on the roadways. They expended more than 67 hours of ice control and 1,844 hours of specialized snow removal with heavy equipment.
Kremmling Maintenance Area
The Kremmling Maintenance Area includes patrols in: Walden, Rabbit Ears Pass, Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs and Kremmling. The Area has 31 full-time maintenance workers, 6 winter part-time employees, and 7 winter temporary positions. For winter maintenance, 19 sander units, 3 liquid deicer units, 7 loaders, 5 motor-graders, 2 dozers and 3 snow-blowers are prepared for use.
The Kremmling Area maintains 680 lane miles. For the 2009-10 winter season, crews plowed 233,198 total lane miles, sprayed 49,495 gallons of liquid deicer, and spread 14,380.5 tons of sand/salt products. They expended more than 71 hours of ice control and 4,805 hours of specialized snow removal with heavy equipment.
WINTER TRAVEL TIPS: