(CBS4) – Early November marks the beginning of sun glare season along the I-70 mountain corridor in Colorado’s foothills.
Eastbound Interstate 70 was closed at Floyd Hill because of the intense sun glare Thursday morning.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, safety closures due to sun glare can happen in the morning hours there from November through February each year.
CDOT says the sun’s angle, in combination with the hill and the highway’s configuration, can create a blinding sun glare for drivers as they head eastbound up Flory Hill.
The intense sun glare occurs as far east as Genesee beginning around sunrise and lasting until around 8:30 a.m.
The transportation department provides messages on its electronic sign boards prior to Floyd Hill to alert drivers of sun glare and to anticipate slower speeds. Drivers who travel eastbound I-70 in the early morning hours during fall and winter are urged to pay attention to the overhead message boards beginning just east of the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial Tunnel.
CDOT says the sun glare closures at Floyd Hill are for the safety of the traveling public. The decision is made on a case-by-case basis each morning with collaboration between Colorado State Patrol and CDOT personnel who are stationed near Floyd Hill.
The eastbound sun glare can become blinding for motorists, especially when there is leftover moisture on the roadway from a storm or from pre-storm road treatment materials. On top of that, mountain driving conditions include steep hills, sharp turns and unknown scenarios such as wildlife crossing the highway. For these reasons, the sun glare safety closures at Floyd Hill become necessary.
You can check the latest travel alerts by visiting COtrip.org.
Tips For Driving With Sun Glare On I-70
- Traffic headed eastbound on I-70 will be rerouted at Exit 244 (US 6) which is at the bottom of Floyd Hill
- Motorists can either stay the course on US 6 through Clear Creek Canyon, or they can take the eastbound I-70 frontage road (US 40) and get back onto I-70 at Beaver Brook (Exit 248)
- Truckers should be aware, there are height restrictions in the tunnels along US 6 Clear Creek Canyon, therefore no vehicles over 12′ 7″ can travel this route
- The closures average around 45 minutes to an hour and can occur between sunrise and 8:30 a.m. from November through February each year
- Adjust your eastbound I-70 travel plans near Floyd Hill to before sunrise or later in the morning. If possible, avoid traveling eastbound up Floyd Hill between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on sunny days November through February
- Make sure your windshield is clean – inside and out. Ensure your vehicle has plenty of windshield wiper fluid
- Wear a good pair of sunglasses to provide shading
- Expect traffic slowdowns between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. along I-70 eastbound near Floyd Hill, and adjust your speed to avoid sudden reactions
- Let off the accelerator and slow down gradually instead of slamming on the brakes, if suddenly blinded by the sun
- Road conditions can change quickly at this time of year. Drivers can check the latest road and weather conditions by going to COtrip.org
- For more information visit codot.gov/travel/sunglare