With the coming winter weather (and storm advisory) over the next few days we face unfavorable conditions on all our roads, but especially on Highway 72.
With the flood repairs to Highway 72 one of the more noticeable differences is along the sides of the highway. In many places where we used to have dirt, grass, bushes and trees along a gentle slope into the narrow creek, we now have rock and concrete with a steep drop off to an exposed rock river bed. In short, we have lost all the natural traction and soft landing at the sides of road.
When driving uphill in icy conditions it is possible to lose control and slide out to the side. Even at slow speeds this can occur (made worse by poor tire tread) if you are going too fast for the car/conditions combination. Also, keep a close eye out for the green/reflective markers (see right) because with snow, that might be your only clue to the start of the drop off.
When driving downhill in icy conditions it it possible to lose control and become unable to stop. This could mean sliding into the oncoming lane, or (at higher speeds) completely overshooting and going off the other side. Remember that at times we can have drier roads in sunshine at the top of the Canyon, but lower in the shade of the Canyon we can have pockets of black ice. Pay attention to changing conditions at various points in the Canyon.
We are all still learning how the newly repaired road will handle in the various seasons. As such, please ensure:
- Your vehicle is prepared for the road conditions you travel in.
- You are prepared for the road conditions you travel in.
- You have extra clothing (hat, gloves, coat, boots, even blanket) in case you encounter a problem.
- You drive appropriately to the conditions.
- Watch out for rocks/trees undermined by the flood but finally dislodged by ice/winds.
- Take extra care around CDOT workers, heavy equipment and parked cars (from homeowners with no driveway.)
Please keep safe, and good luck keeping warm.