When the snow hits, what happens then?
After the layer of liquid de-icer is applied, snowplows are operated around-the-clock on the state’s most heavily traveled roadways applying both liquid and solid de-icing products until their services are no longer needed. On roadways with fewer vehicles, snow removal hours may be limited.
Snow Removal Coverage
- On highways with annual average daily traffic of 1,000 or greater, snow removal operations will occur throughout the storm (24 hours) until normal driving conditions exist.
- On highways with annual average daily traffic less than 1,000, snow removal operations will be limited to 14-hours, from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. (exceptions may be granted for school bus routes, highway segments with high accident rates or hospital/emergency routes) While roads with fewer vehicles may have limited hours of snow removal during a typical snow event, CDOT will plow the roadway if the storm is such that it may cause the road to become closed and impassable. CDOT will also work with emergency service providers when emergency response is necessary.
List of Highways with Limited Plow Hours
Snow Removal Materials
- Liquid and solid deicers will be used on Interstates, freeways, and divided highways and in all air quality non-attainment areas as needed. (exceptions may be granted on other highways that have high accident rates, are emergency routes, etc.)
- During a storm, liquid and solid deicers will be used only on highways with annual average daily traffic greater than 15,000
- Liquid and solid deicers may be used on any highway following a storm for deicing if necessary
- Sand may be used on all state highways
Are there any tips for safe driving during snowstorms?
- Slow down in winter weather, as driving too fast for conditions causes most accidents.
- Take a little extra time to clear your car of snow and ice before leaving for your destination.
- When driving at night, keep your headlight beams low. High beams can amplify the appearance of snow and lead to decreased visibility.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
When forecasts call for snow, what actions are taken?
When weather forecasts indicate the dispatch of snowplows will be necessary, CDOT mobilizes plows at the start of the storm and may put down a layer of liquid de-icer once snow starts to fall to help prevent the precipitation from freezing to the roadway surface.