Sun causes I-70 closure
I'm fully aware of heavy snow causing I-70 to close, but the sun? Apparently, it's a thing.
I'll be heading east on I-70 coming up in a couple weeks. I'm driving home for the holidays and in the meantime keeping a close eye on the weather forecasts. It's been dry and I'm hoping it stays that way until I get back after Christmas. I realize that's a long shot. Winter weather is coming. It's not a matter of if, it's when.
So I was surprised to hear that I-70 was closed near Idaho Springs this morning because of "blinding sun." It's not just the sun, but its angle. This time of year the suns lower on the horizon and that and its positon at certain times of the day can cause visibility issues.
A crash in such a blind spot on I-70 caused it's closure and traffic had to be detoured onto a frontage road. The trouble spot is so bad that CDOT felt inclined to release a press relase. "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."
CDOT also wants to remind drivers of these safety tips when driving during bright sunlight situations especially mornings and evenings:
• 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