DENVER (KDVR) — In the Denver metro area, crews are fueling up and preparing for the first snow of the season.
“We’ve been watching the forecast all week,” said Nancy Kuhn with the Denver Department of Transporation and Infrastructure. “We’re switching gears now. We put the plows on the trucks that we’ve been using for other programs, and now we’re readying the trucks to plow tonight or address the roads in any way that’s needed.”
Kuhn said they have crews coming in at 10 p.m. on Friday and plan to rotate throughout the weekend.
“We’ll ramp up overnight. We’ll watch the bridges and overpasses,” Kuhn said. “They tend to get icy first, so they’ll be monitoring conditions, and then we’re going to ramp up even more tomorrow to prepare for snow to potentially accumulate.”
The city of Denver uses a liquid and granule material to deice the streets if needed.
“Downtown is part of our air quality efforts,” Kuhn said. “We minimize our use of sand. We will use it, but we sort of focus on using our liquid material, but then in other parts of the city we use a dry deicer.”
She said they approach each storm on a case-by-case basis but plan to have about 45 to 50 plow operators ready to go come Saturday.
“This is a storm where we’re not sure how much accumulation we’re going to get,” Kuhn said. “What we have is we have the trucks ready, the drivers ready, we have materials that we need and we’re ready to go.”
CDOT has hundreds of plows ready to work
Plow drivers with the Colorado Department of Transportation are also gearing up in the high country to tackle the winter storm.
Throughout the weekend and depending on conditions, CDOT said they’ll have 90 plows on interstates in the Denver metro area and another 30 plows just focused on the Interstate 70 corridor climbing from Golden to the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel.
In the northeast part of the state, full snow crews in 168 plows will be on hand as well.
Matt Inzeo with CDOT said they have specialized treatment plans for every road depending on the specifics of the forecast.
“We’re going to be out starting tonight, particularly in the northern mountains and some of the areas further west where we’re going to see this storm start up,” Inzeo said. “We’re ready to go and guys are just waiting for the flakes to fall.”
A temporary safety closure for Colorado Highway 82 (Independence Pass) is in place.
Closure gates are located near Aspen and Twin Lakes. The alternate route from the Denver metro area to Aspen is via westbound I-70 to Glenwood Springs, then CO 82 to Aspen.
Inzeo said crews will reevaluate road conditions once the storm passes, but Independence Pass usually closes for the winter season in November.
Those already up in the high country should make sure their car has snow tires on or some sort of traction device like chains. CDOT recommends checking COtrip.org for the latest road conditions.
Denver, Colorado weather resources
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The Pinpoint Weather team will continue to update the forecast multiple times each day.