The Colorado Department of Transportation anticipates that road traffic will be lighter over Memorial Day weekend due to various COVID-19-related restrictions.
“With the warmer weather upon us, this might be a tempting weekend to head to the mountains or to travel farther than usual from home,” said the department’s executive director, Shoshana Lew. “But this year is unique. We’re encouraging people to please follow public health orders, recreate responsibly and do their part to keep each other safe.”
Under the state's "Safer at Home" guidance, Coloradans should stay at home as much as possible, and stay within their communities if they do need to leave. Despite the anticipated reduction in vehicle travel, CDOT is still suspending all maintenance projects beginning at noon on Friday and resuming on May 26.
In general, CDOT asks drivers who do intend to leave their homes to follow safety guidelines, including to be aware of pedestrians, bicyclists and animals, all of which will increase their activity due to the warmer weather. The department also warns that the freeze-and-thaw cycle of the winter can give way to potholes, and drivers may struggle to see them during spring rain showers.
There are a number of roadways that normally open by Memorial Day, but whose opening dates have been delayed. Those are:
o State Highway 5 – Mount Evans: opening in early July.
o State Highway 82 – Independence Pass between Twin Lakes and Aspen: opening on June 1.
o Trail Ridge Road between Estes Park and Grand Lake (Rocky Mountain National Park): opening on a date to be determined.
o Guanella Pass between Georgetown and Grant: opening on a date to be determined.
o Kebler Pass between Crested Butte and the Paonia area: opening on Thursday, May 21.
o Cottonwood Pass between Buena Vista and Gunnison County: opening on Monday, June 1.