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I-70 West Traffic Management

I-70 West PacingCDOT, in coordination with the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), and Silverthorne Police Department (SPD), will be using Rolling Speed Harmonization on eastbound Interstate 70 in the winter 2012, primarily during the heavier traffic periods on Sunday afternoons.

The reason why CDOT conducts this operation is to help reduce accidents, minimize traffic backups, maximize capacity and improve traffic flow on eastbound I-70.   Rolling Speed Harmonization helps reduce the wide variations in speed that lead to a higher probability of accidents and, in turn, substantially increases congestion.

When this operation is taking place, a law enforcement vehicle switches its emergency lights on and merges ahead of traffic.  The police vehicle uses the center or left lane to pace eastbound vehicles, at speeds deemed appropriated by the police officer, usually between 45 and 60 mph.

The 27-mile pacing operation repeats about every five to 10 minutes.

Rolling Speed Harmonization operations begin just east of the Silverthorne Interchange and proceeds eastward to Empire Junction, where U.S. 40 joins I-70.

CDOT also is implementing Rolling Speed Harmonization to reduce the number of times it meters eastbound traffic at the Eisenhower Tunnel.  Metering occurs at the tunnel when vehicle volumes exceed the capacity of I-70.  When back-ups occur, CDOT stops vehicles from entering the tunnel, allowing traffic to clear, before releasing more traffic into the tunnel.