This week's I-70 closures come just as some local ski resorts are getting into full Spring swing and as new snow continues to pile up: The Interstate will be closed from Empire (exit 232) to Silverthorne (exit 205) on Tuesday, April 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for rock removal, with the possibility to continue work and continue closures on Wednesday, April 6. If you're heading for the hills today, plan to stay for a couple days to avoid the I-70 detour and traffic. Or get your shred on tomorrow anyway, with special deals at both Loveland and Winter Park for the occasion (after the jump).
Tomorrow Loveland's offering a free pancake breakfast in the Basin Cafeteria from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. to entice riders to the mountain before the 9 a.m. closure.
"While CDOT is working hard to ensure the safety of travelers on I-70, Loveland Ski Area will be running the lifts from 9:00am until 4:00pm," reports John Sellers, Marketing & Communications Director. "The road closures will not affect our operations, but we realize that our skiers and riders will have to get an early start if they want to enjoy the new spring snow. On Tuesday, we will reward the early birds with a free pancake breakfast."
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And Winter Park, taking advantage of its spot along that U.S. 40 detour, is offering $59 single-day lift tickets to anyone with a season pass to another mountain during the closure (walk-up single day tickets at Winter Park are usually $97).
"We know this closure will have major impacts but the safety of the traveling public is always our first priority," says Regional Transportation Director Tony DeVito, in a CDOT news release about the closures. "These boulders have the potential to come down on their own, and we need to remove them before that happens. The highway has to be closed for this work, but unfortunately we won't know exactly how long it's going to take until the work actually begins. Each layer of rock we remove will give us more information on what remains behind it that may also need to be addressed. There's never a good time to have a full closure of I-70, especially during the daytime, but we need to get this done now because it's the time of year we experience the recurring freeze and thaw along with those wet snows that make the mountainous areas more susceptible to rockfall."