Major changes to I-70 will impact mountain travel

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DENVER -- Some big changes are coming to help alleviate the gridlock on your drive up Interstate 70 to Colorado’s high country.

Construction crews are working on a temporary express toll lane that will run on the shoulder of the eastbound lane of I-70 from Idaho Springs to Empire.

The Colorado Department of Transportation said the 13-mile stretch could save drivers up to 60 minutes -- but for a cost up to $30. It will be ready Dec. 12..

The Colorado State Patrol also said it will be enforcing two laws during snowstorms that require passenger vehicles have adequate all-weather tires, chains or four-wheel drive.

Tires need at least one-eighth of an inch of tread to be safe. Troopers said they won’t be out looking for bad tires, but expect a $650 fine if you end up losing control and block traffic.

“If we‘re asking truckers to chain up, we’re going to tell drivers they need good traction  on their cars at the same time,” CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford said.

State Patrol also is reminding drivers it is the law to move cars off the highway after an accident and it doesn’t involve alcohol or drugs, and no one is hurt.

Traffic crashes account for 60 percent of all traffic delays.

CDOT also showed off a new snow plow with a retractable wing plow. That wing allows the driver to plow two lanes instead of one. The number of plows with the new wing was unavailable.

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