All Weather News

I-70 CLOSED for Extreme Sun Glare

11 Dec 2017, 1:33 pm

You read that right. Early Monday morning, the Colorado Department of Transportation had to close a portion of Interstate 70 in the high country of the Colorado Rockies. This happened around 7:30 am near Idaho Springs after an accident in this area was reported.

 

The crash actually caused delays and a detour of traffic onto the US 40 Frontage Road, but CDOT made the decision to close the interstate near Idaho Springs for a brief period until the sun glare became more manageable.

 

The glare was so extreme, CDOT sent a press release Monday warning drivers  of the dangers of the sun, especially heading east on I-70 near Floyd Hill this time of year, between 7:00 and 8:30 a.m.

According to the release:

“Beginning in early November, and continuing through early February, 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 Floyd Hill (mile 244 to 247 – east of Idaho Springs). The glare occurs from approximately 7 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. However, it is especially severe between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.”

So yes, this is actually a thing. Be mindful of the brightest drive times if you’re to travel the high country this time of year.

This time of year, CDOT will put up electronic warnings on the signs along I-70 towards Idaho Springs. They also offer a few tips to ensure your safety with extreme sun glare.

• Make sure your windshield is clean – inside and out
• Wear a good pair of sunglasses to provide shading
• Expect traffic slowdowns 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
• Avoid eastbound travel on Floyd Hill, if possible, between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

 

Meteorologist Merry Matthews

 

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