DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – First responders spent the morning Wednesday getting ready for the snow with a simulation at their Traffic Incident Management training area. The simulation replicated the conditions on the 18-mile stretch of Interstate 25 between Castle Rock and Monument where construction has closed off both shoulders.
“For every one minute of a crash that is blocking a lane of traffic, that develops four minutes of congestion,” said Patrick Chavez with The Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Traffic Incident Management.
The unique issues with the I-25 South Gap construction zone make processing and clearing an accident even more tricky.
“The gap is challenging just because with the construction going on there’s really not much of a left or right-hand shoulder that we’re used to having to operate with a crash like this,” said Colorado State Patrol (CSP) Trooper Chris Dierker
So CSP, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Larkspur Fire and CDOT simulated a two-car accident with minor injuries blocking the left lane.
The big lesson from the day was a reminder of just how essential communication is.
“Typically we are all talking to our own dispatchers on our own radio channels, and today we switched to a single channel for all agencies, that helps us talk to each other, coordinate better and get a more efficient result,” said Dierker.
Honing their skills for the accidents they hope will not come, but they know they must be prepared for.
“Slow down, take your time, give yourself enough time to get to where you need to safely,” he said.