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Many Businesses To Close Early To Avoid Debate Gridlock

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Interstate 25 (credit: CBS)

Interstate 25 (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – The University of Denver says it’s ready for its close-up as the world turn its attention to the candidates in their first face-to-face meeting. But before the debate starts workers have to get home on Wednesday.

Interstate 25 will be off limits around debate time. (STORY: 6 Miles Of I-25 To Close During Presidential Debate At DU)

Drivers are encouraged to actually plan the commute beforehand — don’t wing it. Know what surface streets you will use. keep in mind, those alternative roads like Santa Fe, Colorado Boulevard and University will have double the normal traffic.

Many employers are making an executive decision for their employees.

“We decided the best thing to do is to close early and get them off the roads,” Susie Siegesmund with Rocket Software said.

Rocket Software, located in the heart of the Tech Center, plans to let their employee’s off between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Some can even work from home.

Siegesmund says she wants employees to get home before the highway closes at 5 p.m.

“I think employees could be looking at a three-hour commute if they live north of town,” she said.

Elizabeth Thomas lives in Washington Park, right in the middle of it all. Working for a database company, she’s lucky to be able to work remotely and stay home. But she says if she had to, she’d use public transportation.

“I would take public transportation. The light rail runs up the corridor of I-25, which is quite handy,” Thomas said.

Siegesmund says companies can’t afford to shut down but they can be aware of the commute.

“It’s better to be good to the employees and be conscious of the event and you loose two hours of productivity. It’s going to go a long way with your employees,” she said.

The Regional Transportation District will continue to run the light rail system, but routes will have detours near the DU campus. Passengers should expect delays throughout the system because of the increase in traffic, rolling road closures, and the 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. closure of I-25 from Hampden Avenue to Santa Fe Drive.

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