Steamboat Springs The Colorado Department of Transportation will continue to plow Colorado Highway 131 at the same levels as the past 25 years, officials said Tuesday. The only change is a set of new signs announcing the policy.
CDOT's Region 3 Transportation Director Weldon Allen said crews will continue to clear Colo. 131 north of Yampa as they have in years past.
"Nothing has changed," he said. "It's the same policy we've had. We're not reducing service."
Allen said the policy was "clarified" in December to include signs at major intersections announcing the policy. That policy calls for 24-hour snow removal on all highways with a daily average of 1,000 travelers and 14-hour snow removal on all highways with lower traffic. Fourteen-hour coverage extends from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Allen said the stretch of Colo. 131 from Oak Creek to U.S. 40 has enough traffic to be covered for 24-hour coverage, and because the equipment barn for the region is in Yampa, crews also plow from Yampa to Oak Creek.
"Most of the local folks : won't see any difference because we're going to maintain that area between Oak Creek and Yampa," he said.
Allen said his office's public relations team intended to get more information to the public before the signs went up in the area, but with bad weather expected soon, crews wanted to get the signs up as soon as possible.
The signs are intended to give travelers who may not know the area an idea of what to expect on the road, he said.
"It may be smarter or wiser for them to go on to Kremmling and take (Colorado) Highway 9 instead of (Colo.) 131," he said.
CDOT officials discussed cutting nighttime plowing because of budget concerns, but that idea was nixed, Allen said.
"They said not at this time," he said. "It's a service we don't want to cut. It's vital to the economy of this state that we have good transportation during snowstorms."