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Old 10-03-2011, 08:28 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
2,970 posts, read 6,607,413 times
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I don't think CDOT is perfect but they do a pretty good job compared to other states I've lived in.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:56 PM
 
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I think they try. There are sometimes I scratch my head at the stuff they do, dumping mag chloride for a trivial amount of snow and then being nowhere to be found in a big dump of snow.

Up at the tunnel and Vail Pass can easily get 400-500 inches of snow a year, so it's not easy. Probably it's time for a road redesign in a few areas as well.
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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I wonder if it's possible to heat the road surface to avoid ice. I'm sure it would cost a ton and be unreliable and expensive to maintain.
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Centennial, CO
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Pardon my lack of knowledge (i.e. ignorance), but where exactly is this "tunnel" that keeps being mentioned? And I assume Vail pass is right on 70 near Vail?
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Old 10-04-2011, 01:59 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
2,970 posts, read 6,607,413 times
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The Tunnel is the Eisenhower Tunnel, it's between Georgetown and Silverthorne. Between Silverthorne and Vail is Vail Pass.

It really is a beautiful road, especially right now with all the leaves changing.
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:00 PM
 
Location: CO
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Eisenhower Tunnel
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:43 PM
 
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Wink Timing & patience

Timing.

In winter your primary concern with snow on I-70 will be just west of Denver to the far side of Vail. Generally. But one could experience difficult winter driving conditions from Denver all the way to St. George, Utah. For that matter, it has been known to snow in Las Vegas, Nevada, so hypothetically snow all the way until practically Anaheim, CA.

While one can avoid a storm centered on I-70 by skirting to the south and I-40, that interstate is closed at times at places such as Grants, NM due inclement weather. The odds for dry roads are better, but when it is nasty I-40, until dropping down west of Flagstaff, AZ, can mimic the ground blizzards of I-80 in Wyoming. When it is like that, it would usually be easier just dealing with some snow on I-70, and the mountain route a better option. With a good chance of fewer semi-trucks than I-40 as well.

All of which is to say that your trip to California will be by far the smoothest and safest if it is timed to fit within weather windows. That may not fit the perceived schedules many people live by, but their SUVs will be the ones you see stuck along the road in a snow bank as you motor serenely past a day or two later under blue skies and dry or only wet roads.*

Willing to be a little flexible can pay big dividends.

* Consider also ice at night or early morning, also prolonged in shady spots, etc, on otherwise clear roads.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheridan1962 View Post
Pardon my lack of knowledge (i.e. ignorance), but where exactly is this "tunnel" that keeps being mentioned? And I assume Vail pass is right on 70 near Vail?
The tunnel is roughly mile marker 216 to 213, so whether eastbound or westbound, you can use that guide to count down to when the tunnel is coming. Going west around mile marker 228 you will begin climbing to the tunnel and going east you start the climb to the tunnel around mile marker 205.

Vail Pass starts around mile marker 195 at Copper Mountain and ends at East Vail at mile marker 180 or vice versa.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Centennial, CO
156 posts, read 604,999 times
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Thank you all for the information. You've been so helpful!

It's hard to be flexible because we have to make hotel reservations for time we'll be in Cali, and I can't wait until the last minute to do that...and if DH takes vacation for a certain time period, we have to fit our trip into that window.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Colorado - Oh, yeah!
833 posts, read 1,381,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superorb View Post
Even now the idiots are out in full force on the mountain roads. Coming down the long downhill into Denver I see people going well over 70mph, then they cook their brakes on the downhill. People must not notice all the signage that tells you to use a lower gear and keep it slow for several miles ahead. People generally seem to be impatient, selfish, and just downright stupid when it comes to theirs and other drivers' safety.
I find that a lot of people, especially those that didn't grow up with mountains, don't know what it means to "use a lower gear" let alone why you would want to while going downhill.

Case in point - A few years ago while driving in the mountains, my wife (a lovely and intelligent woman) kept glancing over at me and the instrument cluster with this worried look on her face. When I finally asked her what was the matter she told me that the engine kept getting loud and it seemed like I was revving it and she was wondering if the car was having a problem.

Saying that I had simply down-shifted was met with a blank stare and expanding that with, "because of the steep grade" didn't help much either so she got a quick monologue about gear ratios and engine-braking... I just got the blank stare.
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