CDOT Program Reduces Highway Clearance Time

June 12, 2009

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Colorado's Heavy Tow Quick Clearance program managed to reduce the average time to clear weather-stranded vehicles off the road to 23 minutes from 50 minutes.

The program, carried out by the state's Department of Transportation as well as Stantec and American Towing Alliance, involved clearing obstructions and moving commercial vehicles to safe locations during winter weekends, holidays and other adverse weather days along Interstate 70 between Floyd Hill and Vail Pass. From Thanksgiving weekend through late April, the Colorado Department of Transportation relocated 184 commercial vehicles and cleared 217 lanes.

The Colorado Motor Carriers Association encouraged the program, and worked with the DOT and the American Towing Alliance.

"It can cost thousands of dollars in lost revenue and hours of travel delays, even when just one lane of I-70 is closed, impacting trade, travel, tourism and recreation," said Tony DeVito, CDOT regional transportation director. "When we're able to get traffic moving again in a timely manner, it reduces those lost revenues and travel delays. The program provides benefits that far outweigh the cost, which is about $500,000 a year."

"The program achieves our goal of keeping traffic moving and maintaining safety along the Interstate 70 West corridor and is a win-win for all involved - CDOT, the traveling public and the truck drivers who were able to be moved quickly out of harms way," said Bernie Guevara, CDOT region one traffic engineer.

The program is slated to begin again over the Thanksgiving weekend but will resume at an earlier date, if necessary, due to adverse weather.

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