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State Officials Blame Drivers For Mountain Tie-Ups

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DENVER (AP/CBS4) — The Colorado Department of Transportation is blaming drivers for a traffic tie-up over the weekend that left drivers fuming after being stuck in traffic for hours.

Drivers report spending eight to 10 hours sitting in traffic Sunday afternoon and evening between Silverthorne and the Eisenhower Tunnel.

The department says some drivers had cars with bald tires and big trucks were not using chains on slippery roads, bringing traffic to a near-standstill when vehicles spun out of control.

On Sunday, February 9, CDOT’s Courtesy Patrol program relocated 22 vehicles on eastbound I-70 between Silverthorne and Eisenhower Tunnel. Of the 22 vehicles, 19 had bald tires and 18 had in state plates. The 22 were only a small fraction of the spun out vehicles that needed assistance which contributed to the heavy congestion and delayed commute for motorists last Sunday.

C-DOT said in a statement that lanes blocked by spun out passenger and commercial vehicles caused delays to increase at an astounding rate to where CDOT was forced to close eastbound I-70 in order to allow the traffic and dozens of accidents and spun out vehicles to be cleared.

“Driving in the mountain is a privilege that many of us take for granted,” said CDOT’s Executive Director Don Hunt. “As someone who lives in the mountain corridor, I know that a number of factors can take an easy drive and turn it into a nightmare. At CDOT, we are constantly looking at new ways to better serve the traveling public with better traffic management and maintenance. But success on I-70 West also relies on a partnership with our drivers, who play a big role in helping the roads run smoothly, even doing little things like inspecting your tires for good tread before you leave.”

LINK: State Traffic Report

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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