SOUTHERN COLORADO — The gap construction on Interstate 25 can be dangerous with winter weather, which is why the Colorado Department of Transportation said they are ready to close the stretch to ensure traveler's safety in the event of an emergency.
For instance, those with CDOT said Interstate 70 will have safety closures when there is a risk to the public. The same can happen on Interstate 25, especially in the gap construction area. "The gap has definitely given us a new animal... We need you to help us to keep from closing down that road," said Michelle Peulen of CDOT.
Those with the El Paso County Department of Public Works said they are always keeping a close eye on the weather. The department is responsible for sending out snow plows, and if Interstate 25 through the gap closed, there may be more traffic on different roads. "If CDOT closes the gap, it doesn't necessarily change our strategy as far as what roads we're going to clear, we are going to get out and get our high traffic roads, we're going to get those cleared as quickly as we can... If you can't get on I-25, we're going to expect to see people jumping over to 83, and then from 83 jumping off onto other county roads trying to get to where they want to go," said Deputy Director Kevin Mastin.
The Colorado State Patrol said they will help direct drivers if a closure like this occurs. "Ultimately, if an area, especially like the gap, is going to be closed, it's going to be because of an emergency situation... we don't have an exact playbook, we're going to play a lot of it by ear, but we're going to make sure everybody is as safe as possible," said Colorado State Trooper Josh Lewis.
Tips for safe driving in the winter months include giving extra time to reach a destination, giving ample space to the car in front of you, going slow, and not getting out on the roads unless you really must.
You can always check the roads before you go, by looking at cotrip.org. There's even a feature that can show you where snow plows are in real time.