This Labor Day weekend, traffic will be in and out of the mountains, and drivers and passengers in various vehicles will participate in informal summer farewells, especially along the heavily crowded Interstate 70.
Shoshana Lew, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, said in a press release: “Drivers must take all necessary precautions when traveling during the last few days of the summer.” Be prepared not to drive drunk or distracted. Doing so will ensure a safe and fun Labor Day weekend.”
The press release stated that starting at noon on Friday, CDOT will suspend construction projects to reduce potential traffic delays, except for emergency operations. The project will resume on Tuesday, September 7.
It is expected that traffic along Interstate 25 along the Front Range and Interstate 70 west of Denver will be more severe than normal. According to CDOT, traffic on I-70 Interstate Highway may be busiest between Friday morning and late afternoon and Saturday from 7 am to mid-afternoon.
As the weekend ends, I-70 eastbound traffic will peak on Monday Labor Day, from morning to late afternoon, especially from Summit County to the Denver metropolitan area.
According to CDOT, over 183,000 vehicles passed through the Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnel during the four-day weekend last year. The heaviest daily one-way traffic flow through the tunnel in 2020 is 33,485 eastbound vehicles on Labor Day.
Earlier this summer, drivers were reminded to plan extra travel time this Labor Day weekend through Glenwood Canyon on Interstate 70 due to damage to mudslides, rocks, and debris. In the canyons of the Blue Gulch area, one-lane traffic in each direction still exists, and delays are expected.
According to Gasbuddy.com, as Colorado motorists fill up their car tanks for weekend trips, gasoline prices remain above $3.50 per gallon. On Thursday, the average gasoline price in Denver was US$3.569, of which Fort Collins was US$3.546 and Colorado Springs was US$3.614.
On Tuesday morning, another late summer channel came into play, and Colorado 5 on the Mount Evans Highway would be closed from Summit Lake to the top of the mountain. The rest, from Echo Lake to Summit Lake, is planned to remain open when the weather permits, until October 3.