Plow truck drivers for the Colorado Department of Transportation put a significant amount of work into keeping roads open, but because of severe weather or vehicle wrecks, some road closures are unavoidable.
Speaking to the state officials who make these calls, the process for closing and reopening highways and interstates across Colorado requires trust and decisiveness.
Highway closures are done through a collaboration between CDOT, highway patrol officers and local law enforcement, and the decision to close a highway is mostly based on observations by personnel on scene. While CDOT prioritizes keeping the highways open, most closures happen when the risk of accidents is reported to be high.
“It’s pretty rare for us to close a road, or for a local agency to request that a road be closed, due to just weather,” said Elise Thatcher, a spokesperson for CDOT.
She explained that road closures are typically implemented when incidents create situations where secondary crashes
are likely, and those situations are especially dangerous on sections of road with steep grades such as the mountain passes of Summit County.
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