DENVER (KDVR) — This weekend’s winter storms are the latest challenge for the Colorado Department of Transportation which has been dealing with a staff shortage like many employers across the country.
“This the first big wallop we’re getting hit with, with multiple waves of storms coming through,” CDOT’s Jared Fiel said.
Winter weather came later this year versus last.
“Mother Nature’s been a little nicer to us than we’ve had in the past but she’s making up for it right now,” Fiel said.
It’s a chance for crews to get on the roads and in some cases, close roads in the mountains.
“We make closure points at areas where we know that we can pull folks off safely and have them be able to be safe in a warm environment,” Fiel said.
Fiel said the department does what it can to ensure road workers are where they need to be to keep roads passable for drivers.
“We have crews out that man the closure points so that we make sure people don’t go through because we have a lot of that silliness that tends to happen,” Fiel said.
The department is working with fewer staff members this year, a result of a worker shortage experienced by industries around the country.
“We normally are running about a seven to 8% openings,” Fiel said. “We’re now at about double that, 15 to 20%.”
CDOT told FOX31 despite that shortage, the work on the road will still get done.
“The impact to the driver shouldn’t be seen at all,” Fiel said.
Mountain lanes on Interstate 70 will be open through next Sunday, allowing more drivers on the road all week.
Part of the interstate will be closed Monday for avalanche mitigation.