DENVER (CBS4) – Prior to the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the Colorado Department of Transportation warned drivers about heavy traffic.

The delays began on Interstate 70 around 10:30 a.m. Friday, with hundreds at a standstill. An update from CDOT said volume was continuing to build at 11 a.m. and travelers should expect an additional drive time of 75 minutes.

The worst traffic will be at the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel. When volumes reach the point where back-ups into the tunnel occur, vehicles must be stopped and metered to allow congestion to clear.

There are no shoulders in the tunnel, and emergency response vehicles must be able to have access, hence the periodic clearing.

Heavy traffic along I-70 on July 3 (credit: CBS)

Heavy traffic along I-70 on July 3 (credit: CBS)

In preparation for the traffic, CDOT has suspended all construction-related closures until Monday afternoon.

Despite the traffic on Friday, CDOT says the highest travel delays are expected when people return from the mountain communities on Sunday afternoon.

CDOT reminds travelers to drive with patience and expect the inevitable delays.

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