Prepare for the ‘Mountain Traffic Jam’ this Presidents Day weekend says CDOT

By Jim Lawson on February 16, 2024
Prepare for the 'Mountain Traffic Jam' this Presidents Day weekend says CDOT
(Photo by Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Prepare for the ‘Mountain Traffic Jam’ this Presidents Day weekend says CDOT

Presidents Day is one of the busiest mountain traffic weekends of the year as Coloradans prepare to trek through the state’s high country. Motorists who aren’t prepared for winter conditions can cause lane closures, lengthen travel times and heighten their risk for slide outs and crashes. CDOT is reminding drivers headed to the mountains this holiday weekend to ensure their vehicles are prepared for winter roads.

More than a million motorists travel through the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels each February. In February 2023, the daily traffic count average was more than 38,000 motorists.

“Winter weather presents unique challenges for even the most experienced Colorado drivers,” said Andrew Hogle, CDOT Winter Wise communications manager. “We encourage all motorists to avoid peak travel times and ensure their vehicles are prepared for the possibility of winter weather. That includes keeping a winterized emergency kit in your vehicle with water, snacks, traction devices, jumper cables, blankets, a first-aid kit and other necessities.”

The highest number of crashes on I-70 occur in February and March, at the height of winter. Since 2018, more than 630 crashes have happened in February and March. That crash total accounts for 37% of the total crashes on the I-70 mountain corridor from October to April in that five-year span.

Motorists traveling to the mountains this Presidents Day weekend should plan their trip ahead of time, slow down and drive safely around large vehicles to minimize the risk of a crash.

CDOT offers the following tips and reminders to help drivers stay safe this Presidents Day weekend:

  • Avoid traveling during peak times. Visit to view real-time road conditions, travel alerts and roadwork impacts. Visit for a weekend travel forecast.
  • Use public transit if you need a ride. Bustang and Snowstang offer service to and from certain mountain areas, and Bustang Outrider offers service to mountain areas and rural regions. Visit for multiple transit options along the I-70 mountain corridor.



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