Helicopter avalanche mitigation on I-70 begins Sunday | SteamboatToday.com

Helicopter avalanche mitigation on I-70 begins Sunday

Staff report
Steamboat Pilot & Today

One of the avalanches that closed Interstate 70 for hours Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Tali Landsman)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Critical helicopter operations are set to being Sunday, March 10, on Interstate 70 to mitigate avalanche threats. Several slide paths will be targeted. Close times are estimates due to the nature of the work, according to a news release from CDOT.

  • 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Mission on Big Marvin slide path on Vail Pass (mile point 186)
  • 11:00 to noon Mission in 10 Mile Canyon (mile point 196 east of Copper Mountain)
  • 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. Mission on Silver Cloud and Bard Shoulder slide paths in Silver Plume

Colorado Avalanche Information Center has identified many mountain ranges in western Colorado as being at high risk for avalanche slides.

“It is very likely that a natural slide could occur and motorists should plan for unexpected closures, as well,” CDOT said in a news release. “There is also the possibility of large debris fields with trees and rocks mixed with snow in these slides which can take maintenance operations longer to clear.”

If you come across an avalanche or powder cloud while driving, do the following:

  • Reduce speeds
  • Pull over to shoulder if possible
  • Turn off your vehicle
  • Remain in your car
  • Call 911 and request help
  • Make sure you are prepared with an emergency kit and adequate traction. An emergency kit should include: jumper cables, flares or reflective triangles, ice scraper, car cellphone charger, blanket, map, cat litter or sand for traction, food and water.

For information on travel conditions and road closures, visit cotrip.org or call 511.

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