All eastbound and westbound lanes of I-70 are closed between Silverthorne and Denver, after a slow-moving winter storm covered the roads in snow and ice.
The State Patrol tweeted the closure at 7 p.m. U.S. 6 through Clear Creek Canyon also is closed in both directions after a head-on collision.
According to the Department of Transportation, westbound lanes are closed in Morrison at mile point 259. There is no estimated timeframe for reopening.
“Heavy snow is moving into the area and road conditions are worsening. Visibility is very low and snow is accumulating on the roadway,” CDOT said in a statement. “Motorists are encouraged not to find an alternate route, but rather turn back and find a safe place to wait out the storm.”
Road conditions along Colorado’s Front Range began to deteriorate shortly after rain turned to snow Saturday afternoon. Weather experts say conditions will get only worse overnight.
In addition to I-70, CDOT advises avoiding I-25 between Castle Rock and Monument, as the road is likely to be closed. It’s also possible I-70 east of Airpark Road and other roads in the Eastern Plains may close depending on the severity of the storm.
City and transportation officials urge residents to stay home and avoid traveling this weekend unless absolutely necessary. Those who must drive should keep an emergency kit with blankets, food, batteries, water, a shovel and survival supplies in the case they get stuck or stranded, CDOT said.
The storm system, which is expected to dump 1 to 2 feet of snow on Denver and even more in the surrounding areas, is bringing heavy, wet snow that will make roads slippery as it accumulates, said Kari Bowen, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boulder.
“People were not expecting this storm to take as long, so they might have let their guard down or thought they could go out,” said Bowen of Saturday’s slow start to the storm. “We want people to understand while the snow might have been later in the morning, snow will continue to fall and create hazardous and highly impactful conditions.”
Anyone catching a flight out of Denver International Airport should check flight information before driving to the airport, because more than 1,800 trips have been canceled.
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