(CBS4) — Two sections of highway remain closed Sunday morning after dismal weather conditions, spin-outs, and crashes forced state authorities to close several roads all day Saturday. Both re-opened later in the day.
State Highway 285 over Kenosha Pass held out the longest and remained closed until 3 p.m. Sunday. A spokesman from the Colorado Department of Transportation said its crews worked into the early afternoon removing snow and abandoned vehicles from the roadway.
Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw confirmed that at least 300 stranded travelers had taken advantage of two different shelters overnight Saturday. Those travelers stayed at a community center and a school facility in Fairplay, both opened late Friday night when the road over Kenosha Pass was initially closed.
The last of the closures on the plains, State Highway 71 through the Pawnee National Grasslands, re-opened late Sunday morning.
CO 71 NB/SB: Road open between CO 14 and the Nebraska Border. conditions have improved https://t.co/J3GM65M8aJ
— CDOT (@ColoradoDOT) December 1, 2019
All other roadways that were closed at one point Saturday have since been re-opened. This included highways over Rabbits Ears Pass, Loveland Pass, Vail Pass, Interstates 25 from Wellington to the Wyoming border, highways 287 and 85 toward the Wyoming border, Interstate 76 between Adams County and Keenesburg, State Highways 93 and 128 between Golden and Boulder, and a handful of other state highways in the northeastern plains toward the border with Nebraska.
CSP spokesman Ivan Alvarado said reports of “hundreds” of stranded travelers have made the rounds on social media Sunday morning, but troopers only received one request for help from a motorist’s on Saturday night. That incident was on Highway 285.
CDOT snowplow drivers normally call in any encounters with stranded motorists while the plows are in the process of the clearing the roads. No calls from snowplow crews have come in, Alvarado said.
Normal protocol for rescuing a large number of motorist, Alvarado added, is to involve the Colorado Army National Guard. That, too, has not occurred.