EMPIRE, Colo. (CBS4) – There could be a delay clearing snow off a busy stretch of Interstate 70 in the high country from Idaho Springs to the Eisenhower Tunnel, as well as the south side of Berthoud Pass, because plow drivers for that vital stretch of road don’t have a home.
Colorado Department of Transportation plow drivers are going to have a new $3.5 million home in the area soon, but with winter already at the doorstep, CBS4 wanted to know how safe drivers are this season while the plow drivers don’t have a home.READ MORE: COVID In Boulder: Push For Restaurants To Consider Requiring Proof Of Vaccinations
There are dozens of CDOT yards around the state.
“What we try and do there is try to have a variety of locations so that folks can be out in the areas they need to cover and have the product and the trucks and all kinds of things available so that they can keep our roads clean and clear and safe,” Emily Wilfong with CDOT said.
But in Empire where I-70 and Highway 40 meet, the yard is out of commission.
“Currently the shed is under construction, it’s going to be worked on until early 2015,” Wilfong said.READ MORE: Adams 12 Five Star Schools Faces Staff Shortage Just Weeks Before School Resumes This Fall
Across the street there are temporary sheds and plows parked outside, but there’s no magnesium chloride or sand to refill plows.
“At this point we’ve moved materials and tools and products off site to places close by … Berthoud Pass, Eisenhower Tunnel, Hidden Valley, and so we’re storing utilities and supplies there,” Wilfong said.
A viewer contacted CBS4 asking if it’s safe for the plow drivers, who already cover hundreds of miles, to now need to drive farther to get their supplies.
“CDOT is very well staffed over the winter months and we’ve got people on call and they know exactly where to go to get their supplies, so it really won’t change any way and how we do business in keeping the roads safe for drivers.”MORE NEWS: CDC Says COVID Vaccine Booster Isn't Necessary- Yet
With only a few more weeks until the Empire yard is complete, CDOT is hoping the mild start to winter continues to help them out, but say they are prepared when the snow comes.