Winter Driving Assistance Programs
CDOT’s Heavy Tow or Quick Clearance winter program provides standby heavy wreckers at strategic locations along I-70, between Floyd Hill and Vail Pass, allowing stalled and spun-out commercial vehicles to be moved quickly from traffic lanes to a safe location. This program, which began in 2008, continues to be successful at reducing traffic congestion and delays along the Interstate 70 West corridor. Quick Clearance begins each year during the Thanksgiving weekend and ends in late April. It can also be implemented during holidays or other occasions, such as severe storms. Before implementation of the Quick Clearance program, the average time to clear a commercial vehicle from a traffic lane was approximately 50 minutes.
November 2008 – April 2009
- 184 commercial vehicles relocated
- 217 lanes were cleared
- Average clearance time – 23 minutes (reduced from 27 minutes during January-April 2008, the program’s first season)
November 2009 – April 2010
- 212 commercial vehicles relocated
- 245 lanes cleared
- Average clearance time – maintained at 23 minutes
November 2010 – April 2011
- 193 commercial vehicles relocated
- 214 lanes cleared
- Average clearance time – reduced to 22 minutes
The program provides benefits that far outweigh the cost, which is about $500,000 a year. Studies have shown that for every hour the I-70 West Corridor is closed to traffic, it can have an economic impact of up to $800,000, with a majority of those revenues affecting surrounding communities.
To help truckers comply with Colorado's chain law, CDOT's Chain Assistance program is operating for the fourth straight year. When the chain law is in effect, it allows drivers to purchase chains and chain-up service when approved vendors are present at any one of the 21 chain stations along I-70 between Dotsero and Denver West Boulevard. CDOT representatives frequently visit the stations when assistance is taking place, inspecting and assuring quality service is being provided.