The Colorado Department of Transport announced Saturday that they will be barricading parking lots at a popular backcountry ski area, to prevent motorists from parking unsafely on US 6.
“This has been a reoccurring problem and a growing problem,” CDOT communications manager Elise Thatcher told Summit Daily. “We’ve been working with the Department of Natural Resources and the Colorado State Patrol to try and reach as many people as possible to let them know you really have to be careful where you park on the pass because it’s critical to allow hazmat vehicles to pass through safely. We’ve been trying to reach people about this issue for several weeks now. And it’s a situation where it’s actually getting worse.”
Following a complaint from a trucker using the pass, CDOT barricaded two parking lots on Loveland Pass on Sunday as a last resort, and the measures seem to have been a success.
“It was successful,” Thatcher added. “We had supervisors up there on Sunday doing the rounds to see what the impact was, and they did not see anyone blocking the lanes. Traffic was able to move smoothly, and hazmat vehicles weren’t affected or delayed.”
The parking areas will remain barricaded for as long as the snow lasts before it melts, or until law enforcement requests they are reopened.
A Tweet on Saturday from CSP described vehicles from ten different states, right across the country, parked at Loveland Pass on Saturday and blocking semis from using the road. Loveland Pass is The HazMat route across the divide. Vehicles transporting fuels, chlorine, and ammonia have to use the pass as they’re not permitted through the Eisenhower Tunnel (unless Loveland Pass is closed).
Not long after, a CDOT travel alert said that they will be barricading two parking lots on 11,990-foot Loveland Pass, the high-mountain pass on the Continental Divide joining Clear Creek and Summit counties, to prevent motorists from parking unsafely while recreating on Loveland Pass.
Despite the Governor’s ‘stay at home’ order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, every weekend has seen similar crowds. CDOT added that barricading the parking lots was the only alternative to closing down the roads altogether.