I-70 MOUNTAIN CORRIDOR, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is reminding drivers about safety closures along Interstate 70 due to sun glare.
According to a CDOT news release, the closures can occur in the morning hours on eastbound Interstate 70 at Floyd Hill from November through February annually.
“The sun’s angle, in combination with the hill and the highway’s configuration, can create a blinding sun glare for drivers as they head eastbound up Floyd Hill (about Mile Points 244 to 248 – east of Idaho Springs),” the news release stated.
“The intense sun glare occurs as far east as Genesee beginning around sunrise and lasting until around 8:30 a.m.”
CDOT provides advance notification of the potential hazard with messages on its electronic sign boards prior to Floyd Hill, alerting motorists of the sun glare and to anticipate slower speeds.
“Drivers who travel eastbound I-70 in the early morning hours during fall and winter are urged to pay attention to the overhead message boards beginning just east of the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel,” the news release stated. “Additionally, drivers can check the latest travel alerts by visiting COtrip.org.”
If a sun glare safety closure is in place during the morning commute along eastbound I-70, traffic headed eastbound on I-70 will be rerouted at Exit 244 (US 6) which is at the bottom of Floyd Hill.
Motorists can either stay the course on US 6 through Clear Creek Canyon, or they can take the eastbound I-70 frontage road (US 40) and get back onto I-70 at Beaver Brook (Exit 248). Truckers should be aware of height restrictions in the tunnels along US 6 Clear Creek Canyon; therefore, no vehicles over 12′ 7″ can travel this route.
The closures average around 45 minutes to an hour and can occur between sunrise and 8:30 a.m. from November through February each year.
Drivers are urged to adjust eastbound I-70 travel plans near Floyd Hill to before sunrise or later in the morning. If possible, avoid traveling eastbound up Floyd Hill between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on sunny days November through February.
Make sure your windshield is clean – inside and out. Ensure your vehicle has plenty of windshield wiper fluid.
Wear a good pair of sunglasses to provide shading.
Expect traffic slowdowns between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. along I-70 eastbound near Floyd Hill, and adjust speed to avoid sudden reactions.
Let off the accelerator and slow down gradually instead of slamming on the brakes if suddenly blinded by the sun.
Road conditions can change quickly at this time of year. Drivers can check the latest road and weather conditions by going to COtrip.org.
More information is available by clicking this link: codot.gov/travel/sunglare
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