I-70 – CDOT said they will begin performing “safety critical helicopter operations” on Sunday, March 10th to perform avalanche mitigation at several slide paths along the I-70 corridor.
CDOT provided the following schedule of when and where these operations will be taking place.
8:30-9:30 a.m. – Mission on Big Marvin slide path on Vail Pass (mile point 186)
11:00-Noon – Mission in 10 Mile Canyon (mile point 196 east of Copper Mountain)
1:30-2:00 p.m. – Mission on Silver Cloud and Bard Shoulder slide paths in Silver Plume
CDOT said that due to the dynamic nature of this work, it is impossible to estimate how long closures along these routes will be in place. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) has identified many areas in Western Colorado as being at high risk for avalanche slides.
According to CDOT, it is very likely that a natural avalanche could occur and drivers should plan for unexpected closures as well.
The agency also said there is a possibility of large debris fields with trees and rock mixed with snow in these slides, which can take maintenance operations longer to clear.
If you were to encounter an avalanche or powder cloud while driving, CDOT recommends you do the following:
- Reduce speeds
- Pull over to the shoulder if possible
- Turn off your vehicle
- Remain in your car
- Call 911 and request help
- Make sure you are prepared with an emergency kit and adequate traction. An emergency kit should include: jumper cables, flares or reflective triangles, ice scraper, car cell phone charger, blanket, map,cat litter or sand for traction, food and water.
You can find more information on current avalanche danger and avalanche safety at the CAIC website.
You can find information on travel conditions and road closures at https://www.cotrip.org/home.htm