By Lauren DiSpirito

DENVER (CBS4) – In an effort to ease holiday traffic backups, The Colorado Department of Transportation says it will halt all roadway construction work through the News Year’s weekend.

The announcement on Thursday came after drivers in the high country experienced hours of delays along Interstate 70. Skiers and snowboarders who set out for the mountains from Denver before sunrise told CBS4 the early start was not enough to avoid hours of slow-moving traffic.

A group from Colorado Springs is interviewed by CBS4's Lauren DiSpirito (credit: CBS)

A group from Colorado Springs is interviewed by CBS4’s Lauren DiSpirito (credit: CBS)

“It was just a mess up there today,” said Tyler Leasure, a college student from Colorado Springs.

Leasure said he and his friends spent 6 1/2 hours in their car getting from Denver to Keystone Resort and back.

“It’s so worth it,” Leasure said. “Especially on a nice pow (power) day.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Early in the day, drivers reported delays of up to two hours in the westbound lanes approaching the Eisenhower Tunnel.

According to CDOT, Colorado experiences its heaviest traffic during the end-of-year holidays, especially in the high country.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Last year during the New Year’s weekend, more than 220,000 vehicles passed through the Eisenhower Tunnel. On one single day, more than 52,000 vehicles traveled the I-70 route.

The temporary halt on highway construction will end this Tuesday, according to CDOT.

Lauren DiSpirito reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. She covers breaking news and feature stories along Colorado’s Front Range. Follow her on Twitter @CBS4Lauren. Share your story ideas with her here.

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